Population Models for Assessment and Management of Inland Striped Bass Fisheries
Micheal S. Allen and Daniel Gwinn
Abstract.—Population models are frequently used to assess stocks and inform management, but use of models for inland striped bass Morone saxatilis fisheries is rare in the literature. We summarize three common types of population models and describe how they could aid management of striped bass and hybrid striped bass fisheries. Yield-per-recruit models are ideal for identifying growth overfishing and optimum size at harvest to maximize yield. Time-dynamic, age-structured models are useful for evaluating effects of variable recruitment on angler catch and effects of temporary changes in model parameters (e.g., fish kills, changes in growth) on model output. Catch-at-age models can be used to measure recruitment to age 1 for inland striped bass fisheries and for quantifying fishing mortality rates. Catch-at-age models can also improve the utility of creel survey data and help evaluate the efficacy of stocking programs by estimating age-1 recruits (from model) per stocked fish (from hatchery). Population models force investigators to be explicit about their hypotheses regarding fisheries systems, identify data gaps, and allow assessment of potential impacts of management actions on the fishery. The examples shown here can be used to improve striped bass and hybrid striped bass monitoring and management.