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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P56) Evaluation of Sampling Gears and Population Characteristics of Catfish in the Monongahela River, WV

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AUTHORS. Kristen Chestnut, Quinton Phelps – West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; Dustin Smith, David Wellman – West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Angler interest in catfishing has increased in West Virginia, specifically in larger rivers such as the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Given the increased interest for catfish, special regulations were recently imposed to enhance and conserve catfish fisheries on the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. A large tributary to the Ohio River, the Monongahela River, is a popular fishing destination and is targeted by anglers for catfish. However, catfish populations have not been thoroughly evaluated on the Monongahela River, and little is known about the population. The primary objective of our study was to gain knowledge on catfish population characteristics in the Monongahela River to aid in future management of this fishery. Secondarily, we sought to develop long-term sampling protocols for channel and flathead catfish in riverine systems of West Virginia. During 2018, we sampled seasonally using hoopnets, trotlines, and low frequency electrofishing. In total, 382 catfish were collected, in which 307 were channel catfish and 75 were flathead catfish. Length, weight, sex, and age data were obtained from collected individuals. Additionally, sampling will again be conducted seasonally in 2019. Population characteristics (e.g., relative abundance, size structure, age structure, growth, etc.) will be modeled to aid future management decisions and differences in gear success will be evaluated and used to develop sampling protocols. Data collected will be valuable in guiding future monitoring and management of this and other riverine catfish populations in West Virginia.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Attendees (3)