TitleStock-catch analysis of carp recreational fisheries in Czech reservoirs: Insights into fish survival, water body productivity and impact of extreme events
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDavid S. Boukal, Jankovsky, M, Kubečka, J, Heino, M
KeywordsFloods, management, Recreational fisheries, Stocking, Time series

In culture-based fisheries, managers strive for high stocking efficiency, the ratio between the total weight of caught and stocked fish. Here we present a new time series approach to examine the dependence of reported anglers' catches on stocking and external events, using data on carp (Cyprinus carpi L.) from 14 reservoirs in the Czech Republic. Average stocking efficiency varied between 0.25 and 2.2, with values close to unity in most reservoirs. The lowest efficiencies occurred in three reservoirs receiving cold hypoxic water from a large upstream reservoir, while the highest efficiencies were found in two shallow, highly productive reservoirs. Analyses further indicate that stocked carp are typically caught during the year of release or the year after; but also that the mean time lag between stocking and capture increases with reservoir area. External events can be important: major floods in the years 2002 and 2006 were in many cases followed by large, up to 10-fold, increases in catches in subsequent years; we attribute the surplus catch to carp washed down from upstream,aquaculture and river stretches. In contrast, the ``Velvet Revolution{''} (demise of the communist regime in 1989) had no discernible effect on catches in subsequent years. In conclusion, the proposed method can simultaneously estimate the likely mean survival time of stocked carp and identify the impact of major environmental and societal events on recreational fisheries. The approach thus sheds light on the performance of current stocking practices at individual reservoirs, and could be used to monitor and improve stocking strategies and management of culture-based recreational fisheries. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.