Proceedings of the First International Snakehead Symposium

Proposed Standard-Weight (Ws) Equation and Size Structure Indices for Northern Snakehead

Hae H. Kim, Jason A. Emmel, and Quinton E. Phelps

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874585.ch4

Abstract.—Relative weight and size structure indices are useful tools for fish biologists to characterize fish condition and fish size structure. However, a standard-weight (Ws) and size structure indices do not currently exist for Northern Snakehead Channa argus. We complied length-weight data from 4 established populations of Northern Snakehead in North America across five states and four drainages. We used the regression-line-percentile (RLP) method to develop a standard-weight equation for Northern Snakehead. The RLP method uses the 75th percentile as a benchmark for standard weight. Based this approach, we propose a metric standard-weight equation as log10(Ws) = –5.142 + 3.0418 * log10 (TL) with a minimum length of 200 mm; Ws is weight in grams and TL is total length in millimeters. For calculating proportional size distribution (PSD) we proposed the following length categories: stock, 190mm (7.5 in); quality, 340 mm (13 in); preferred, 420 mm (16.5 in); memorable, 550 mm (22 in); and trophy, 700mm (27.5 in). The population level indices developed in this study will provide fish biologists another set of tools to describe invasive Northern Snakehead populations in North America.