Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Drum family - sciaenidae, pp. 955-962 PDF (3.4 MB)
962 Drum Family-Sciaenidae the Lake Erie-type trap nets were used to catch freshwater drums from 1955 through 1965, and were the most important gear in use until 1962, when trawling accounted for 61% of the catch. The effec- tiveness of the trawl continued to increase, so that by 1965 trawls accounted for 84% of the freshwater drum harvest. The drums are located by electronic sonar devices, which take the guesswork out of find- ing them. Priegel (1965) noted that in Lake Winne- bago the catch per haul of adult freshwater drums increased during night trawling compared to the catch taken in day trawling. In Lake Winnebago, the commercial harvest of freshwater drums was intensive enough to crop off the larger and older fish by 1962, so that the harvest after 1962 was composed of smaller and younger fish even though the rate of growth remained the same (Priegel 1971b). Priegel estimated that to keep the freshwater drum population at an optimum size in Lake Winnebago-i.e., less competitive with the sport species-1.1-1.4 million kg of drums should be re- moved annually. In Lake Michigan, the freshwater drum popula- tion is concentrated in lower Green Bay, where it is harvested incidentally to the yellow perch fishery. The commercial harvest in 1974 was reported at 880 kg (1,941 lb), with a value of $155 (Wis. Dep. Nat. Re- sour. 1976c). Wells and McLain (1973) stated that in Lake Michigan the catch of freshwater drums since 1962 has been negligible because of poor market de- mand. The standing crop of freshwater drums in Illinois and Wisconsin lakes averaged 7.7 (3.4-15.9) kg/ha (Carlander 1955). With the removal of freshwater drums from Lake Winnebago, increases have been noted in walleye, sauger, white bass, yellow perch, crappie, and channel catfish populations, especially since 1959 (Priegel 1971b); however, no positive cor- relation has been demonstrated between these in- creases and drum removal.
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