The effects of environment on catch and effort for the commercial fishery of Lake Winnipeg, Canada

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Speers, Jeffery Duncan
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Environmental factors affect fish distribution and fisher behavior. These factors are seldom included in stock assessment models, resulting in potentially inaccurate fish abundance estimates. This study determined the impact of these factors using the commercial catch rate of sauger (Sander canadensis) and walleye (Sander vitreus) in Lake Winnipeg by: (1) the use of satellite data to monitor turbidity and its impact on catch via simple linear regression and (2) the effect of environment on catch and effort using generalized linear models. No statistically significant relationship was found between catch and turbidity; a result which may be due to small sample sizes, the fish species' examined, and variable turbidity at depth. Decreased effort was correlated with harsh weather and decreased walleye catch. Increased walleye catch was correlated with low temperature and low Red River discharge. Increased sauger catch was correlated with high temperature, high cloud opacity, and average Red River discharge.
fish, walleye, sauger, weather, turbidity, satellite, catch, effort, MODIS, river, generalized linear models, wave