Southeast Fisheries Surveys
Southeast SD Lake Survey Summaries, Net Catches & Stocking Reports
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) conducts a variety of surveys to assess adult fish populations, young fish production, fishing pressure, and harvest. Creel and netting surveys help fisheries managers evaluate the benefits of management activities such as stocking, harvest restrictions, or habitat improvement. Future management strategies are often based on survey findings.
Creel survey results are included in the lake survey reports. Creel surveys provide information on fishing pressure, catch and harvest of fish species, and angler demographics and preferences. Fishing pressure is calculated from counts of boat and shore anglers. In the winter, occupied ice houses and open-ice anglers are counted. Harvest rates (number of fish harvested per hour of fishing) and catch rates (harvest + release rates) are calculated from angler interviews. An interview consists of questions about the length of time fished, the number and species of fish harvested and released, fishing methods, targeted species, and angler residence and preferences. Total catch and harvest are calculated by multiplying the average catch or harvest rate by the total fishing pressure.
Summer Lake Surveys provide information on fish communities. Some lakes are surveyed annually; others less frequently. A variety of fish collection gears may be used during a survey, including gill nets, trap nets, and electrofishing. In general, gill nets are used to sample walleyes and yellow perch. Northern pike, bluegills, crappies bullheads and catfish are sampled with trap nets. Electrofishing is used to sample largemouth and smallmouth bass, and to sample juvenile walleyes to assess natural production or success of stocking. Some of the technical terminology mentioned in the lake survey reports is described.