Sportfishing Catch and Harvest of Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in Glacier Bay National Park

Sportfishing Catch and Harvest of Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in Glacier Bay National Park

Jason R. Gasper, Vincent F. Gallucci, Marc L. Miller, Jane Swanson, Chad Soiseth, and Darryll R. Johnson

Sportfishing Catch and Harvest of Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in Glacier Bay National ParkThis is part of Fisheries Assessment and Management in Data-Limited Situations
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Description

Actions taken by a manager to reduce or increase allowable harvest are legitimized through the collection of accurate fishery harvest information. In many cases the fishery is large and/or remote, contains a large diversity of users, lacks historical data, or is subject to large reporting errors that hamper collection efforts and decrease the accuracy and precision of estimates. These data limited situations require a holistic approach when surveys are being designed. Glacier Bay National Park presents a data limited situation in that the existing survey data does not enable managers to estimate sportfish catch and harvest of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in park waters. This paper focuses on a combination of survey methodologies used to create a fishery survey program in Glacier Bay National Park to estimate halibut harvest and catch by sport anglers. Methods employed were a creel survey, aerial survey, mail survey, telephone survey, and boat observations. We found that the mail and telephone surveys provided the most precise estimates of halibut catch and harvest, while the creel and aerial surveys provided the least precise estimates. We also found that anglers included in the mail and telephone surveys accounted for the majority of the sportfish halibut catch and harvest in Glacier Bay proper and areas directly adjacent to Glacier Bay proper. Moreover, data from the aerial survey suggest that anglers misreported halibut catch and harvest levels in the creel survey. This paper is a contribution to a general methodology that could be employed in the management of the Glacier Bay National Park sportfishery. The framework created in this paper is flexible enough to be of value in the management of sport fisheries in other locations as well.

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