Paddlefish: Ecological, Aquacultural, and Regulatory Challenges of Managing a Global Resource

Chapter 6: Applications of Emerging Fisheries Techniques for Paddlefish

Gregory W. Whitledge, Richard F. Lance, James M. Long, Ben C . Neely, and Jason D. Schooley


Abstract.—Recent advances in fisheries techniques have provided insights into distribution, abundance, habitat use, and life history for several fish species, many of which are applicable to Paddlefish Polyodon spathula. We highlight three new, promising techniques for assessing Paddlefish populations, including: hard-part chemistry for identifying sources of recruits (both wild and stocked fish) and reconstructing environmental history of individual fish, advances in sonar technology for habitat mapping and abundance estimation, and development of eDNA as a detection tool where traditional fisheries gears are insufficient. We also identify potential impediments to applications of these techniques and suggest steps needed to further assess and enhance their applicability to Paddlefish management and conservation.