Theses and Dissertations


Title: The use of fish traps in the management of farm ponds

Name: Cobb, Eugene Steed

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John S. Dendy

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1952

Pages: 56

Keywords: Bluegill,Lepomis macrochirus,Farm pond management,Ponds,Baited traps,Trap nets.

Abstract:

Experiments were conducted to determine an effective means of trapping bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus Raf., in farm ponds and to determine the effects of varying trapping intensities on the fish populations. Four types of traps were tested, (1) a sixteen-foot hoop net with one to one and one-half inch square mesh, (2) one-inch mesh wire traps, (3) one-fourth inch mesh wire traps, and (4) tightly woven slat baskets. The one-inch mesh wire traps caught 59.8 percent of the total weight of bluegills and thus proved superior to the other types tested. The one-fourth inch mesh trap, with 26.8 per cent ranked second, the hoop net with 12.6 percent ranked third, and the slat baskets with less than one per cent ranked fourth.The percentages of total weight of fish caught using different baits were soybean cake fifty-two, cottonseed cake eighteen, bread sixteen, Doodle-oil six, and unbaited traps eight. All baits producing good catches distintegrated slowly into small particles when in water and were readily eaten by bluegills. Four one-acre ponds were trapped daily or for one day each week in periods ranging from fifty-two to 210 days, with from two to ten one-inch and one-fourth inch mesh traps. In all instances the average catch per trap was in proportion to the density of the population at the time of trapping. Baited traps were highly effective in removing large numbers of bluegills from ponds in relatively short periods of time, indicating that trapping may be regarded as a method for reducing overcrowded poulations and for supplemental harvesting of bluegills in farm ponds. The removal of large numbers of bluegills in short periods of time resulted in heavy reproduction with decided increases in the percentages of small fish in all ponds.

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