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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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Technical Presentation: Human Dimensions [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) What Makes Anglers Happy: A Sentiment Analysis of Walleye Angler Fora in the United States
AUTHORS: Kirsten Vacura, Paul Venturelli – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: Human behavior is an important factor in natural resource management. Obtaining the public’s opinion – for example, through creel, mail, and phone surveys – can be time consuming and expensive. Analyzing the text that hunters and anglers contribute to online fora may be a faster and cheaper alternative. In this study, we used walleye (Sander vitreus) oriented online fora to compare and explain the “happiness” of walleye anglers among and within ten U.S. states. We used sentiment analysis to score text data from each state as positive, negative, or neutral, and then normalized these scores by expressing them relative to the baseline level of happiness in each state. We determined the extent to which fisheries management explained variation in “happiness” scores within and among states via statistical analyses that included such factors as regulation strictness and complexity, angler density, stocking programs, and transparency of the state's natural resource agency. Although we did not generate results in time for the abstract deadline, we are confident that we will explain some variation and have interesting things to report at the meeting.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) You Can Have Your Fire Hose and Drink from It, Too: An Expert-Approved Approach to Using Angler Apps to Generate Large Volumes of Usable Data
AUTHORS: Paul Venturelli, Ball State University; Kieran Hyder, Cefas; Tonie Aarts, Royal Dutch Angling Association; Rob Ahrens, University of Florida; Michael Allen, University of Florida; Paul Askey, Freshwater Fisheries Society of British Columbia; Johan Attby, Fishbrain; Leah Baumwell, International Game Fish Association; Peter Belin, Swedish Anglers Association; Scott Bonar, U.S. Geological Survey Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Shannon Bower, Uppsala University; Adam Brown, Substance; Steve Cooke, Carleton University; John Curtis, Ireland Economic and Social Research Institute; Andy Danylchuk, University of Massachusetts; Brett Fitzgerald, The Snook and Gamefish Foundation; David Fulton, U.S. Geological Survey Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jon Giacalone, Fishidy; Rob Houtman, Pacific Biological Station; Len Hunt, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Matt Johnson, C-Map; Jan Kamman, Royal Dutch Angling Association; Steve Kelling, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Elizabeth Overstreet, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center; Kevin Pope, U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Tim Sartwell, NOAA Fisheries Service; Sean Simmons, Angler's Atlas; David Stormer, Florida International University; Christian Skov, Technical University of Denmark

ABSTRACT: Angler smartphone applications (apps) are a new tool for efficiently collecting conventional and novel fisheries data, and have the potential to fundamentally change how anglers interact with the resource. Given that the angler app market is diverse, competitive, and unpredictable, an important step in realizing the potential of angler apps is to develop standards that will ensure a large and reliable data stream for scientific study. To that end, we convened a workshop that was attended by representatives from 11 angler apps, and 22 experts in recreational fisheries, human dimensions, economics, data management, citizen science, and standards. A pre-workshop survey of participants identified gaps between fisheries data needs and the data that angler apps were collecting. We addressed these gaps during the workshop by cataloguing the importance and specific needs associated with 49 data fields (i.e., standards), and then determining whether apps can deliver on these standards. We concluded that any standard can be met, but that anglers will only be willing to supply data for a subset of these standards. Therefore, we propose an initial set of standards that are important to fisheries and/or easy to obtain (e.g., via automation). The consensus among workshop participants was that these standards should be maintained by a science-based and international standards council. This council should also maintain a repository of participating angler apps (including which standards they meet, the amount of data that they have, and for which locations), and any data that participating apps are willing to share. Access to these data will be controlled by the standards council, and in accordance with terms that have been set out by each participating app.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) Assessing Opinions Toward Native Fish Management in the Black Hills Region of South Dakota
AUTHORS: Seth J. Fopma, South Dakota State University; Larry M. Gigliotti, US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Fisheries management has traditionally focused on the preservation and proliferation of fishes valued by the managing society. Typical management has almost exclusively focused on ‘sport’ and native fishes. Recent trends in societal values have extended the management of fisheries to include non-game species. Mountain Sucker, Catostomus platyrhynchus, is a native, non-game species of conservation concern in South Dakota. Recent surveys suggest that Mountain Sucker have declined in both distribution and density across the Black Hills. To properly assess the best-management practices for Mountain Sucker in the region, we must assess the societal attitudes towards the active management of native species. A stratified-random sample of Black Hills area residents (4,200) were surveyed using a modified Tailored design method (24% return) to assess attitudes towards native, non-game fisheries management in the Black Hills. K-means cluster analysis was used to categorize respondents into three distinct groups (apathetic, utilitarian angler, and conservation angler) defined by attitudes towards native fisheries management. Further analysis revealed significant differences in angling activity between groups. Results will guide managers towards appropriate native fish management practices.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) Framing Social Values: How Small Fisheries Can Improve Quality of Life in South Dakota
AUTHORS: Aaron Sundmark (Ph.D. Student), Larry Gigliotti (Professor) – South Dakota State University

ABSTRACT: Sportfishing management focuses on fish resources, as well as the people using these resources. Therefore, evaluating management performance requires assessing both environmental and human-centered outcomes of a fishery. Over 400 small lakes in South Dakota are managed by the state agency to provide convenient opportunities to anglers and other recreational user groups. In January of 2017, a total of 3,753 questionnaires were mailed to residents near 7 small lakes that were diverse spatially and in their proximities to larger urban centers across South Dakota. We received completed surveys from 1,318 respondents (40% response rate). We measured the value of the lake to residents’ quality of life (dependent variable), familiarity with the lake, activities done at the lake, evaluations of conditions and amenities at the lakes and demographic variables. Analyses determined the uses, attitudes and values towards small lakes that are best at predicting their importance to local citizens’ overall quality of life living in nearby communities. Our findings suggest that the inclusion of social values in efforts to evaluate an agency’s management performance could help managers understand and predict the various user groups and the amount of overall use a lake resource will receive over time.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

11:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) Fishing for Answers: Restoration in the St. Clair-Detroit River System Improves Angling Opportunities
AUTHORS: Dana Castle, Central Michigan University, Tracy Claramunt, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ed Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center, Tracy Galarowicz, Central Michigan University

ABSTRACT: Within the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS), fish and wildlife habitat and water quality have historically been degraded, however in 2004, extensive restoration projects began on this system to remediate past degradation. Post-monitoring of restoration areas conveys improving biota of the region, including improvement in Burbot, Lake Sturgeon, Walleye, and Lake Whitefish. Although species are improving in the region, the response of anglers in the region remains unknown. In 2002-2005, an extensive creel survey was conducted, however, since that time, there has been no other extensive analysis of the anglers in the SCDRS. We analyzed post-restoration creel data by calculating interview catch rates, interview harvest rates, and examining supplemental questions collected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). We also estimated the economic value of a recent creel survey by using estimated lodging and gas expenses of interviewed anglers in the SCDRS. We examined interest in fishing in the SCDRS by examining Google Trends data. For Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, there were larger interview catch and harvest rates in post-restoration periods than in pre-restoration periods. We determined that the 2017 open water fishery on Lake St. Clair was worth approximately $11.87 million. Search terms related to the Detroit River and show a significant upward trend, indicating a rise in fishing interest in the region. Because of the increased travel, interview catch, interview harvest rates, and interest in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, anglers are likely capitalizing on increased fishing opportunity in these parts of the system. Another extensive creel survey, similar to the one conducted in the early 2000s, would be helpful in further determining the influence of restoration on angling opportunities in the SCDRS and if anglers are acting to remediate restoration costs.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

1:20pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Use of Surveys to Enhance R3 Programs
AUTHORS: Kristen Black, Illinois Learn to Hunt; Daniel Stephens, Illinois Learn to Hunt; Craig Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Surveys are commonly used to drive the development of public programs and to determine efficacy of those programs. This presentation will discuss how the Illinois Learn to Hunt program has used a series of surveys given to program participants and the public to drive the creation of a successful hunter recruitment, retention, and reengagement (R3) program in Illinois. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, survey creation, survey implementation, statistical analyses, and how survey results affect program management and execution.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

1:40pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Psychological Involvement and Constraints to Hunting Participation: Implications for R3 Research
AUTHORS: Adam Landon, Illinois Natural History Survey; Craig Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jerry Vaske, Colorado State University; James Absher, Environmental Sociologist

ABSTRACT: Research on recruitment, retention, and re-engagement (R3) has become increasingly important for fish and wildlife management agencies that are seeking to bolster participation in hunting and fishing, and ensure fiscal sustainability through increased license sales. To date, however, much of the literature surrounding R3 has been ad hoc with respect to theory explaining patterns of recreation behavior. In this study, we drew on the human dimensions literature to understand the influence of psychological involvement and perceived constraints on hunters’ commitment to the activity as potential new explanatory frameworks for R3 research. We hypothesized that hunters’ psychological involvement in the activity positively influenced their prolonged engagement, operationalized from patterns of hunting license purchase, and that perceived constraints had a negative effect. Data for this study were drawn from a large-scale cohort-based survey of Illinois hunters (n=6,000). Hunters were randomly sampled in age cohorts at two-year intervals based on their date of hunting license purchase over the period 2006-2018. Results suggested that psychological involvement may play an important role in hunters’ commitment to the activity, but that hunters placed different levels of importance on different aspects of involvement. Findings further suggested that perceived constraints negatively influenced commitment, whereby more constrained hunters’ were less engaged over time. Results of this study have implications for mechanism for R3 activity. Although demographic changes underpin broad patterns of hunting license sales, additional factors like involvement and constraints may account for commitment to the activity.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

2:00pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Guiding Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Market-Driven Approach
AUTHORS: Dan Stephens, Kristen Black, Dr. Craig Miller – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Hunters in Illinois have long faced constraints to hunting. Socioeconomic and demographic trends suggest that the public is becoming isolated from the relevancy and importance of hunting. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey have partnered on an adult hunter recruitment initiative aimed at addressing a long-term decline in hunter numbers. In order to develop an objective strategy to mitigate the decline of hunting participation in Illinois, an analysis of market segments, messaging, and imagery is needed to guide hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) efforts. Using web tracking, hunter harvest surveys, license buying data, focus groups, and socioeconomic data the Learn to Hunt program was able to define distinct market segments, market characteristics, and marketing themes. These market segments are defined as: locavores, nature lovers, competitors, and social enthusiasts. Web tracking through newsletters, social media, and program website analytics allowed for testing the response rate of various messages and imagery. Moving forward, R3 programs will need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that cumulatively addresses market segmentation aimed at testing the effectiveness of various messaging themes and imagery.  

Monday January 28, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

2:20pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) University Students and Bears: Understanding Attitudes Among Future Stakeholders
AUTHORS: Haley Netherton, Mike Rader, Shawn Crimmins, Brenda Lackey, Cady Sartini – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Increasing global bear populations and human-bear conflicts have made it more imperative to understand public attitudes towards bears and management interventions. Management methods vary in effectiveness and public support, further complicating the management of bears and other large carnivores. Without proper understanding of public attitudes towards bears and specific management actions, conflict can ensue between stakeholders and managers. To address this need, we conducted a survey of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), as they will become the next stakeholders and policymakers. The objective of our study was to evaluate university student attitudes towards bears and their management and determine the associated factors, including personal experience with bears, socio-cultural influences, and stakeholder group membership. UWSP students tend to favor education and relocation as management tools, with education creating the least conflict. Destruction of the bear is more favorable as conflict escalates, but remains fairly controversial. Our results suggest that college of study and personal experience may be correlated with attitudes towards management interventions. Significant differences in students grouped by attitude towards bears were found for multiple management actions across several encounter situations. Students in the positive attitude group significantly differed from students in the mixed/negative attitude group in their responses towards monitoring the situation, providing education for locals, and destruction of the bear in all five contexts of increasing conflict in a neighborhood setting (all p < 0.001). The effect sizes for these differences suggest minimal to substantial relationships between respondents’ general attitude towards bears and their attitude towards a management action in a specific encounter context (d = 0.304-0.894). The results of this study will contribute to the greater body of literature that can be used to inform the best management options for bears and other large carnivores in a particular socio-demographic context. 

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

2:40pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Tolerance of Restored Wildlife: Landowner Attitudes Toward Elk in Northwest Minnesota
AUTHORS: Eric Walberg, Minnesota Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, University of Minnesota; Gino D'Angelo, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia; David C. Fulton, U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Lou Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Reintroduction is an important tool used to restore elk (Cervus elaphus) populations to their native ranges in North America, though private landowners may be negatively impacted due to damage to private property (e.g., agricultural crops, fences). Restoration of elk populations in northwest Minnesota began in the 1920’s, yet elk numbers have remained low and the species is currently managed at low levels to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. The long-term viability of elk populations in Minnesota depends on landowner tolerance and public support for elk. Past studies have found that most individuals affected by elk normally do not participate in actions that impact the elk population, though as human-elk interactions increase individuals’ start undertaking actions either negatively or positively impacting the elk population. Actions that negatively impact wildlife indicate intolerance of a species and actions that positively impact a species indicate stewardship. We conducted a census of landowners within elk range in northwest Minnesota (N = 768) using a mail-based questionnaire to assess landowner attitudes toward elk and elk management in northwest Minnesota. Our theoretical framework posits that tolerance can be represented using three concepts: (1) Wildlife Acceptance Capacity (WAC); (2) attitudes toward elk; and (3) trust in the responsible management agency. Our research objectives were to understand tolerance of elk in northwest Minnesota among landowners and determine the effectiveness of our model at measuring tolerance of elk populations. The analysis supported two conclusions: (1) a majority of landowners have neutral tolerance attitudes toward elk (55%), and (2) landowner attitudes toward elk and WAC are effective measures of landowner tolerance of the elk population in northwest Minnesota.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B
 
Tuesday, January 29
 

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Something Fishy or Something Wild? Comparing the Progression, Status, and Needs of Social Science Integration in Fisheries and Wildlife Sides of Conservation
AUTHORS: Abigail Bennett, Shawn Riley – Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: This paper assesses the status and needs for social science research in fisheries and wildlife governance in Michigan. While the use of social science data and the participation of social scientists in fish and wildlife management has expanded over time, significant knowledge gaps remain. In general, there is a need for increased knowledge of stakeholder characteristics, perceptions, and behavior, rigorous analysis of the policy process, and more robust and nuanced understandings of the social, economic, and political implications of policy decisions. A thorough assessment of the context-specific social science research needs and a deeper engagement with theory and methods available for producing the knowledge to meet those needs can support more effective integration of social science into fish and wildlife governance. This study seeks to identify the current gaps in social science knowledge, data, and expertise in the context of Michigan fish and wildlife governance, drawing on interviews with managers, scientists, and other stakeholders. Using the interview data and a literature review, the paper traces the recent evolution of social science engagement in fish and wildlife governance in Michigan. In doing so, the analysis contrasts fisheries and wildlife with respect to how social science integration in management and decision-making has proceeded, highlighting lessons from each. The paper then analyzes interview respondents’ perceptions of the most pressing social science and human dimensions knowledge and information gaps in both sectors, as well as current barriers to closing those gaps. Distilling the major themes emerging from the interview data, the discussion synthesizes relevant social science theories, frameworks, and approaches from multiple disciplines that can guide efforts to rigorously and cohesively advance the integration of social science research in fisheries and wildlife governance. The paper concludes by outlining a research agenda and identifying practical steps toward incorporating the research into policy decision-making.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) What Should a Baccalaureate Program in Conservation Law Enforcement Emphasize?
AUTHORS: Michael Rader, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Law enforcement is critical to natural resource protection and conservation. Increasingly, the job duties of a conservation law enforcement (CLE) officer have been expanding and getting more complex as natural resource agencies interact with an increasing number of non-traditional stakeholders and issues. Many colleges and universities now offer baccalaureate programs in conservation law enforcement, but it has been 30 years since research has examined what curricular components to emphasize in such a program. This study surveyed all full-time, non-probationary conservation wardens in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to determine their opinions on probationary officer strengths & weaknesses, preparedness for entry-level training, relative importance of academic subject areas, relative importance of modes of instruction, and officer demographics. Results (65% response rate; n = 108) indicated that probationary officers were weakest in CLE field techniques, written communication, and natural resource law and policy; officers were strongest in technology/computer applications, physical fitness and basic law enforcement skills; the top three skills to develop in a baccalaureate program were CLE field techniques, natural resource sciences, and basic law enforcement skills. Specific courses rated extremely/very important included oral/written communication, CLE fundamentals/field skills, criminal justice investigation, law enforcement academy, resource policy and law, English, human dimensions, internship, and natural resource field skills. Courses rated relatively low in importance included philosophy, economics, arts, history, and math/statistics. The top three instructional methods were practical exercises/application, role playing/scenarios, and case studies. Observations about how to incorporate the results into a CLE baccalaureate curriculum are made as are recommendations for future research.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Volunteer Stream Quality Monitoring: Fostering Community Engagement in Ohio’s Scenic Rivers
AUTHORS: Robert Gable, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Scenic Rivers Program Manager ABSTRACT: For over 50 years, the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program has had great success partnering with local communities, landowners, government agencies, conservation organizations, businesses and individuals in the protection of fourteen of the state’s outstanding river ecosystems. Conservation goals have been achieved through public outreach and education, implementation of innovative conservation measures, enhancing recreational opportunities, and emphasis on the protection of sensitive areas critical to high-quality stream ecosystems. One of the most important tools to the success of the Scenic Rivers Program has been education and outreach through the Volunteer Stream Quality Monitoring (SQM) Project. SQM focuses on the basic study of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in Ohio’s fourteen designated state wild, scenic and recreational rivers to evaluate overall stream health. Introducing individuals to their first crayfish, mayfly or leech sparks an interest in the stream ecosystem. Participants become empowered with information and understanding; qualities that drive advocacy and conservation action. Since the inception of the Volunteer SQM Project in 1983, more than 150,000 individuals and groups have monitored over 150 locations in Ohio’s wild, scenic and recreational rivers. In 2017 alone, the Scenic Rivers Program had over 7,600 individuals participate state wide creating an integral component to the overall success of the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program. Sharing the methods behind our success may be valuable to other conservation organizations looking to grow voices for their waterways and support for conservation of high-quality river and stream resources.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Investigating Perceptions of Wildlife and Vegetation in Urban Vacant Lots
AUTHORS: Andrew Mallinak, Charles Nilon, Robert Pierce – University of Missouri

ABSTRACT: Vacant lots are a prevalent issue in many urban, residential areas nationwide, causing property value declines and further neighborhood blight. These lots are often targeted by city officials to become planned greenspaces, though nearby, marginalized residents may not adequately be involved in the process. This exclusion disempowers residents and provides greenspace that while ecologically useful, may not benefit residents. St. Louis, Missouri is one of /many Midwest cities dealing with a large number of vacant lots, with most of the vacancy concentrated in the predominantly low-income, African-American north side. The city has selected several lots in two north side neighborhoods to implement various management strategies for storm water control and biodiversity conservation. To understand residents’ management preferences for the lots, I administered semi-structured interviews combined with vacant lot photo-evaluation surveys to residents in both neighborhoods. I created themes from the interview transcripts and photograph scores that explain how residents perceive the wildlife and vegetation in their neighborhood vacant lots and how that perception affects their preferred lot management and use. Top ranked photograph scenes exhibited a clear line of sight and signs of care such as mowing, fencing and litter absence. Bottom ranked photographs exhibited blocked line of sight and signs of neglect such as litter, patchy vegetation, and unmown or untrimmed vegetation. Themes surrounding management perception and preference included sense of safety, maintenance effort, and community needs. While wildlife was sometimes seen as tolerable or appreciated, most wildlife was viewed negatively as a form of nuisance or danger. Vegetation was pivotal in how residents felt an area was cared for and whether a vacant lot was seen as being safe and usable, with low, uniform vegetation preferred.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D
 
Wednesday, January 30
 

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Review of Fishing Pressure and Harvest on Southern Indiana Waterbodies 1983-2017
AUTHORS: Sandy Clark-Kolaks, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Creel surveys provide estimates of angler effort, catch rate, and angler preference that can assist biologists in better managing fish populations. Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR) has been conducting creel surveys since the 1960s on selected waterbodies using either two-stage cluster non-uniform probability or roving access designs. Creels typically ran from early spring through late fall and expansion factors were applied to the daily observations totals for each observed category to provide projections of monthly lake-wide fishing pressure and harvest. Information collected during creels is used for individual waterbody evaluations but no landscape level review of creels has been conducted. From 1983 to 2017, over 50 waterbodies have had creel surveys conducted, ranging in size from 1 to 10,750 acres. Creel survey frequencies were highly variable ranging from 16 to 1 times. The majority of anglers were targeting Largemouth Bass; however, in urban areas anglers tended to be less species specific and were most likely fishing for anything. Larger reservoirs had the greatest number of angler trips, number of fish harvested, and fishing hours. However, when normalizing metrics by lake size; smaller urban lakes had the greatest trips per acre, fish harvested per acre, fishing hours per acre, and economic impact. A major focus of the INDNR is recruiting and retaining new anglers. Urban areas contain the largest group of potential angler recruits; however, counties with the greatest population densities had very low public water available to anglers and in seven counties no public waterbodies are available to anglers. This landscape level evaluation of creel surveys provides direction to managers about where efforts should be made to increase the availability of public waters to recruit and maintain new anglers.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) An Estimation of Harvest and Angler Habits at Bowfishing Tournaments in Illinois
AUTHORS: Sarah A Molinaro, Jeffrey A Stein – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Previous efforts to study and manage freshwater recreational sport fishing have largely focused on rod-and-reel anglers targeting black bass, catfish and panfish, while bowfishing – the use of archery equipment to capture fish – has received little attention despite the obligatory lethality and increasing popularity of the angling method. Furthermore, bow anglers in the Midwest primarily harvest species not traditionally targeted by recreational anglers, such as gar, buffalo and carp, which oftentimes may be taken in unlimited numbers. The limited information available on bowfishing harvest suggests that bowfishing tournaments harvest large numbers of fish at higher rates than those reported from rod-and-reel tournaments, which may leave populations vulnerable to over-exploitation. To better understand the habits and preferences of bow anglers, to characterize species-specific bowfishing harvest rates, and to estimate size-specific bowfishing mortality of gars, we conducted point-access creel surveys at bowfishing tournaments throughout Illinois from June 2017 to August 2018 (n = 16).  Creel clerks recorded fishing effort, the count of each species harvested, and individual size metrics of gars from each participating team (n = 147), and a subsample of anglers were surveyed about their bowfishing experiences, recreational angling habits, and bowfishing target species preferences (n = 147). Across all tournaments, the 456 participants bowfished for approximately 3,390 hours and harvested fish at a rate of 1.73 fish angler-hour<sup>-1</sup>, with carps accounting for 86% of the harvested fish, buffaloes for 9% and gars for 4%. Tournament anglers reported a wide range of lifetime experience with bowfishing and bowhunting, and that tournament participation is important to their overall fishing activity. The results and conclusions of this study will inform management decisions that promote sustainable harvest of novel recreational fisheries and provide quality recreational opportunities to bow anglers, and have implications in the management of invasive carp species.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Role of Environmental Context and Individual Behavioral Type on Angling Vulnerability
AUTHORS: Toniann D. Keiling, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Michael J. Louison, McKendree University; Cory D. Suski, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Global recreational fishing involves millions of anglers capturing millions of fish, and has the potential to negatively impact fish populations either through direct means (i.e. through incidental mortality or harvest), or through indirect means, such as the removal of specific behavioral types. At present, the specific mechanism(s) that define why fish strike fishing lures are unknown, as are how environmental factors influence catch rates. Understanding the factors that motivate fish to strike a lure will not only help predict catch rates, but will also help define how fisheries mortality and harvest can shape populations. The goal of this study was to define how behavioral type and prey availability interact to influence angling vulnerability, using largemouth bass as a model. To accomplish this goal, we first performed behavior assays on largemouth bass to place them along a ‘bold’ vs. ‘shy’ continuum, and then transferred fish to one of two ponds, one with a generous supply of prey (fathead minnows) and the other with no prey. Largemouth bass in the ponds were then angled for 8 days. Results indicated that prey availability only weakly influenced capture success in ponds. Rather, size (total length) was the strongest predictor of fish capture with larger fish more likely to strike lures, despite the fact that mean size varied by only 1.2 cm across captured and uncaptured individuals. Results are further discussed in the context of angling vulnerability, and how selective harvest may shape fish populations and aquatic ecosystems.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Successes and Limitations of a Roving-access Angler Survey Design to Increase Numbers and Frequency of Reservoirs Surveyed in Ohio
AUTHORS: Kevin S. Page, Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Reservoirs in Ohio are surveyed annually by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) to collect fishery-relevant information on angler effort, catch, and harvest. Historically, the ODOW conducted roving-access site angler creel surveys on weekdays and weekends during the months of April–September. However, the costs associated with conducting these intensive surveys limited the number of locations surveyed annually (0–5). In 2004, a new angler survey design was implemented that only targeted periods of greatest overall and directed angler effort (May–July, weekends), thereby decreasing the number of surveys at any one reservoir but increasing the number of reservoirs surveyed. This design has been instrumental in increasing the spatial and temporal extent of angler surveys. As of 2016, more than 300 angler surveys have been conducted at more than 100 reservoirs. To validate that the “targeted” survey design continues to provide useful fishery metrics, intensive angler surveys (March–November, weekdays and weekends) were conducted at four reservoirs during 2017. This full extensive dataset was compared to a subset representing the typical high-use survey. Overall, the “targeted” strategy continues to effectively monitor overall angler effort and catch, but may miss the peak periods (spring and fall) for certain fisheries.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D