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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 
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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P46) Precision of Age Estimates Obtained from Sectioned and Whole Bluegill Otoliths

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AUTHORS. Jeff Koch, Ben Neely, Connor Chance-Ossowski – Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

ABSTRACT. We estimated age of 257 Bluegills collected from Kansas impoundments using whole and sectioned otoliths.  Three readers independently aged each structure and age estimates were compared to evaluate bias between readers and structures.  In general, agreement between readers was high for both whole and sectioned otoliths.  Between-reader agreement was greater than 92% for all reader comparisons for both preparation techniques and mean coefficient of variation (CV) values were less than 5% for all between reader comparisons.  Exact agreement of whole and sectioned otoliths was 82.8% to 85.2%, depending on reader.  When comparing whole and sectioned otolith ages, significant deviation from the 1:1 line of equivalency on age bias plots was only present for one reader and age combination, which was age 0 and was likely due to inconsistencies in identification of the first annulus.  In general, both preparation techniques for bluegill otoliths yielded precise age estimates.  No trends in between-reader or between-structure bias were evident with increasing purported age.  Due to the additional time and cost of mounting and sectioning Bluegill otoliths, we recommend using whole otoliths to estimate bluegill age up to age 8.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Fisheries Techniques