Chapter 17: The Oneida Lake Fishery: Interactions between Fishing and Fish
Anthony J. VanDeValk, Lars G. Rudstam, James R. Jackson, and Scott D. Krueger
Top predators can have strong effects on the structure and dynamics of ecosystems (McQueen et al. 1989; Carpenter and Kitchell 1993; Schindler et al. 1997). Anglers constitute the top predator on Oneida Lake and the magnitude of their effect depends on the role target species play in the ecosystem, the catchability of the target species, and the intensity of angler effort and harvest. Walleye Sander vitreus is the top piscivore in Oneida Lake and is also the most sought after species by anglers. Predation by Walleyes plays a major role in determining fish community structure. When angler harvest contributes significantly to total Walleye mortality, angling can decrease Walleye abundance thereby reducing predation on other species as well as predation on young Walleyes. These impacts may be magnified when high angler catch rates increase the popularity of the resource in the angling community (Johnson and Staggs 1992; Post et al. 2002). Anglers also play an important role in local economies (see Brown et al. Chapter 5) and expenditures associated with angling can be dependent on angler success.