Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Jean Smith

Second Advisor

John Christenson

Third Advisor

Barry Ferst

Abstract

A creel census study was conducted on Fresno Reservoir, Hill County, Montana, from May 1 through September 30, 1990. The census incorporated direct interviews and return interview cards at the primary boat ramp access site. Estimated total pressure for the 5-mo period May 1, 1990, through September 30, 1990, was 4,029 man-days (18,352.3 hr). Total catch was estimated at 9,145 walleye and 3,632 northern pike. An estimated 6,240 anglers fished the reservoir during the period. The average catch rate for walleye was 0.54 fish per hr in boats and 0.192 for northern pike in boats. Catch rates determine the average number of fish caught, kept and/or released per hr per angler. Nongame fish species were almost nonexistent in the creel, and estimated harvest was less than 0.5 percent of the total harvest. Average size of harvested fish was 14.80 in for walleye, and 19.8 in for northern pike. The average weight of harvested fish was 1.07 lb. for walleye and 1.69 for northern pike. The overall harvest rate of game fish was 0.174 fish per hr. During the creel period, walleye were harvested at 0.268 fish per hr from boats, and northern pike were harvested at 0.053 fish per hr from boats. Harvest rates are used to determine the total number of fish caught and kept per hr per angler. Boat fishermen, comprising 81 percent of all anglers, fished an average of 3.74 hr per trip and harvested over 97 percent of the walleye. Shore anglers fished an average 2.1 hr per trip and accounted for 1.26 percent of the total game fish harvest. The percentage of fishermen that caught the limit (five) of walleye was 16, however, 48 percent of all walleye caught was released.

Share

COinS