Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
Stuart A. Welsh.
Catch and harvest information and angler attitudes are important for management of the walleye fishery of Summersville Reservoir, WV, especially given previous estimates of high harvest proportions and low growth rates of walleyes. I used data from angler and creel surveys from November 28, 2008-October 31, 2009 to estimate monthly catch rates, harvest rates, total effort, and total catch of walleyes. Estimates were partitioned by boat anglers, bank anglers, anglers targeting walleyes, and all anglers. Also, angler attitudes were documented for fishing trip satisfaction and the sizes of "keepable" and trophy fish. A total of 84 survey days yielded 165 interviews (111 boat anglers, and 54 bank anglers). Boat angler surveys mostly represented completed trips (98 of 111 interviews), and bank angler surveys were primarily incomplete trips (40 of 54). Walleyes caught during our survey period rarely exceeded 381 mm (15 inches), and most (74.5%) were harvested. Catch rates, harvest rates, and estimates of effort and catch for walleyes were highest during December and March. Boat anglers had higher catch rates and harvest rates than those of bank anglers during all months, except March. A large percentage of anglers indicated that 356 mm to 381 mm (14 to 15 inches) walleye were "keepable." Anglers considered trophy walleyes to be 457.2-889 mm (18-35 inches). Angler satisfaction of fishing trips ranged from low (rank = 1) to high (rank = 9), with the highest amount of anglers reporting a rank of 1 (35 boat anglers, 17 bank anglers) and a rank of 3 (15 boat anglers, 9 boat anglers). Although anglers harvested a high percentage of the walleye catch, catch and harvest rates for most months were low relative to those reported from other walleye fisheries. Angler dissatisfaction at Summersville Reservoir is likely associated with the slow growth rates, small size structure, and lack of "trophy-sized" fish. Future research on walleye diets, food availability, and walleye movements (daily and seasonal) would be useful toward answering questions about the slow growth rates and the small-size structure of walleyes within Summersville Reservoir.
Wichterman, Dustin Shane, "An angler and creel survey of the walleye (Sander vitreus ) fishery at Summersville Reservoir, West Virginia" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3297.