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Estimating the time required (i.e., age) for fish in a population to reach a specific length (e.g., legal harvest length) is useful for understanding population dynamics and simulating the potential effects of length-based harvest regulations. The age at which a population reaches a specific mean length is typically estimated by fitting a von Bertalanffy growth function to length-at-age data and then rearranging the best-fit equation to solve for age at the specified length. This process precludes the use of standard frequentist methods to compute confidence intervals and compare estimates of age at the specified length among populations. We provide a parameterization of the von Bertalanffy growth function that...
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Freshwater ecosystems provide many ecosystem services; however, they are often degraded as a result of human activity. To address ecosystem degradation in the Laurentian Great Lakes, Canada and the United States of America established the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). In 1987, 43 highly polluted and impacted areas were identified under the GLWQA as having one or more of 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) to the physical and chemical habitat for fish, wildlife and humans, and were designated as Areas of Concern (AOC). Subnational jurisdictions combined with local stakeholders, with support from federal governments, developed plans to remediate and restore these sites. Biotelemetry (the tracking of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Environmental Management
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Over the last decade, the abundance of Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides has increased in many northern Wisconsin lakes, causing concern among anglers and biologists regarding the potential for Largemouth Bass to negatively affect populations of Walleye Sander vitreus through predation or competition for prey. Our objectives were to determine whether (1) diet overlap and predation occurred between adult Walleyes and Largemouth Bass in four northern Wisconsin lakes and (2) the use of DNA barcoding to reduce unidentifiable fish in diet samples affected conclusions regarding diet overlap. A single occurrence of Walleye predation was observed in the diets of 945 Largemouth Bass. Moderate to high diet overlap was...
Abstract (from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02755947.2016.1146179): Over the last decade, the abundance of Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoideshas increased in many northern Wisconsin lakes, causing concern among anglers and biologists regarding the potential for Largemouth Bass to negatively affect populations of Walleye Sander vitreus through predation or competition for prey. Our objectives were to determine whether (1) diet overlap and predation occurred between adult Walleyes and Largemouth Bass in four northern Wisconsin lakes and (2) the use of DNA barcoding to reduce unidentifiable fish in diet samples affected conclusions regarding diet overlap. A single occurrence of Walleye predation was...
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Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is an emerging pathogen that causes mass mortality in multiple fish species. In 2007, the Great Lakes freshwater strain, type IVb, caused a large die-off of freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) in Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, USA. To evaluate the persistence and transmission of VHSV, freshwater drum from Lake Winnebago were tested for antibodies to the virus using recently developed virus neutralization (VN) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assays. Samples were also tested by real-time reverse transcription-PCR (rRT-PCR) to detect viral RNA. Of 548 serum samples tested, 44 (8.03%) were positive by VN (titers ranging from 1:16 to 1:1,024) and 45 (8.21%) were positive...
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We used dorsal spines and otoliths from 735 Walleye Sander vitreus collected from 35 Wisconsin water bodies to evaluate whether 1) otolith and dorsal spine cross sections provided age estimates similar to simpler methods of preparation (e.g., whole otoliths and dorsal spines, cracked otoliths); and 2) between-reader precision and differences between spine and otolith ages varied in relation to total length (TL), sex, and growth rate. Ages estimated from structures prepared using simpler techniques were generally similar to ages estimated using thin sections of dorsal spines and otoliths, suggesting that, in some instances, much of the additional processing time and specialized equipment associated with thin sectioning...
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The maintenance of genetic integrity is an important goal of fisheries management, yet little is known regarding the effects of management actions (e.g., stocking, harvest regulations) on the genetic diversity of many important fish species. Furthermore, relationships between population characteristics and genetic diversity remain poorly understood. We examined relationships among population demographics (abundance, recruitment, sex ratio, and mean age of the breeding population), stocking intensity, and genetic characteristics (heterozygosity, effective number of alleles, allelic richness, Wright's inbreeding coefficient, effective population size [Ne], mean d2 [a measure of inbreeding], mean relatedness, and pairwise...
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To test assumptions related to the current conceptual model for walleye Sander vitreusmanagement in Green Bay, we evaluated whether: 1) spawning aggregations in the Fox, Menominee, Oconto, and Peshtigo rivers represent genetically distinct stocks; 2) population dynamics and demographics vary among walleye spawning at these locations; 3) walleye spawning in these rivers contribute to the fishery in northern Green Bay, and 4) walleye spawning in these rivers exhibit spawning site fidelity or if they stray among rivers. Genetic differentiation among the four tributaries was low and sex-specific total length (TL), mean TL at age 5, and age-class diversity were generally similar among rivers and observed differences...
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No abstract available.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Many biologists use digital images for estimating ages of fish, but the use of images could lead to differences in age estimates and precision because image capture can produce changes in light and clarity compared to directly viewing structures through a microscope. We used sectioned sagittal otoliths from 132 Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides and sectioned dorsal spines and otoliths from 157 Walleyes Sander vitreus to determine whether age estimates and among‐reader precision were similar when annuli were enumerated directly through a microscope or from digital images. Agreement of ages between viewing methods for three readers were highest for Largemouth Bass otoliths (75–89% among readers), followed by Walleye...
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Southern Green Bay supports important fisheries for yellow perch Perca flavescens and valid estimates of age structure and growth are critical to effective management. Anal fin spines and scales are used by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for age estimation, but these structures may provide lower precision and accuracy than otoliths. The primary objective of our assessment was to determine if age estimates, among-reader precision, and mean back-calculated total lengths (TLs) at age differed among scales, anal fin spines, and otoliths. Ages estimated from anal fin spines were more precise than scale ages, were as precise as otolith-based ages, and generally agreed with consensus ages estimated from...
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The growth potential of Muskellunge Esox masquinongy was evaluated by back-calculating growth histories from cleithra removed from 305 fish collected during 1995–2011 to determine whether it was consistent with trophy management goals in northern Wisconsin. Female Muskellunge had a larger mean asymptotic length (49.8 in) than did males (43.4 in). Minimum ultimate size of female Muskellunge (45.0 in) equaled the 45.0-in minimum length limit, but was less than the 50.0-in minimum length limit used on Wisconsin's trophy waters, while the minimum ultimate size of male Muskellunge (34.0 in) was less than the statewide minimum length limit. Minimum reproductive sizes for both sexes were less than Wisconsin's trophy minimum...
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The Safe Operating Space (SOS) of a recreational fishery is the multidimensional region defined by levels of harvest, angler effort, habitat, predation and other factors in which the fishery is sustainable into the future. SOS boundaries exhibit trade-offs such that decreases in harvest can compensate to some degree for losses of habitat, increases in predation and increasing value of fishing time to anglers. Conversely, high levels of harvest can be sustained if habitat is intact, predation is low, and value of fishing effort is moderate. The SOS approach recognizes limits in several dimensions: at overly high levels of harvest, habitat loss, predation, or value of fishing effort, the stock falls to a low equilibrium...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fish and Fisheries
Abstract (from AFS): Many Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus populations are dominated by fish ≤125 mm total length (TL) that may be underrepresented when using standard sampling gears. To identify efficient sampling methods for these populations, we compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) and TL frequency distributions of Bluegill captured in cloverleaf traps, boat electrofishing, mini‐fyke nets, and beach seine hauls from two northern Wisconsin lakes supporting populations dominated by fish ≤125 mm TL. Mean Bluegill CPUE ranged from 41 (SE = 11) fish per cloverleaf trap lift to 16 (SE = 8) fish per beach seine haul. Cloverleaf traps generally captured smaller Bluegill relative to other gears and were the only gear to...
Abstract (from AFS): Managing recreational fisheries in lake‐rich landscapes with diverse fish communities and anglers alike presents a social and biological challenge for managers. Understanding angler preferences is central to navigating these challenges and can aid in predicting shifts in angler behavior in response to management actions or changing fish populations. Species‐specific angler surveys do not incorporate tradeoffs inherent in multispecies fisheries, thus limiting their application to real‐world management issues. To better understand angler preferences in relation to realistic tradeoffs among different fishing opportunities, we conducted a survey of Wisconsin anglers in 2013–2014 that included questions...
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Implementing harvest regulations to eliminate or substantially reduce (≥90%) the exploitation of Walleyes Sander vitreus in recreational fisheries may increase population size structure, but these measures also could reduce angler effort because many Walleye anglers are harvest oriented. We analyzed data collected during 1995–2015 to determine whether Walleye population and fishery metrics in Escanaba Lake, Wisconsin, changed after a minimum TL limit of 71 cm with a one-fish daily bag limit was implemented in 2003. This change eliminated the legal harvest of Walleyes after several decades during which annual exploitation averaged 34%. We detected a significant increase in the loge density of adult females after...
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Understanding sampling efficiency and movements of subadult Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens is necessary to facilitate population rehabilitation and recruitment monitoring in large systems with extensive riverine and lacustrine habitats. We used a variety of sampling methods to capture subadult Lake Sturgeon (i.e., fish between 75 and 130 cm TL that had not reached sexual maturity) and monitored their movements using radio telemetry in the lower Wolf River, a tributary to the Lake Winnebago system in Wisconsin. Our objectives were to determine whether (1) capture efficiency (expressed in terms of sampling time) of subadult Lake Sturgeon using multiple sampling methods was sufficient to justify within-river sampling...
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The ability to individually mark juvenile fishes has important implications for fisheries management. For example, marking age-0 Walleye Sander vitreus could provide important information not provided by batch-marking, including individual variation in growth and estimates of length-dependent survival and recruitment. However, the relatively small size of age-0 Walleye in north temperate lakes has precluded use of many common tagging methods that provide information on individual fish (e.g., various anchor tags, jaw tags). Consequently, we evaluated short-term mortality and retention associated with using 12-mm passive integrated transponders (PITs) to mark age-0 Walleye (TL range = 93-216 mm; mean TL = 157 mm)...
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Harvest regulations for Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus and Yellow Perch Perca flavescens in the northern USA and Canada have not been thoroughly evaluated, and specific guidance regarding where minimum length limits (MLLs) might improve these fisheries is lacking. We examined whether: (1) transitioning from an aggregate statewide daily creel limit of 25 panfish to species-specific daily creel limits of <25 fish or implementing statewide MLLs could reduce harvest of Black Crappie and Yellow Perch in Wisconsin by ≥25%, and (2) MLLs would improve yield by ≥10% and mean TL of harvested fish by ≥25 mm in Wisconsin fisheries. Creel surveys indicated that ≥94% of Wisconsin anglers did not harvest a Black Crappie...