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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Drum family - sciaenidae,   pp. 955-962 PDF (3.4 MB)

Page 962

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- 
  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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