Main Article Content
Record ID: 232
Type: Poster Presentation (in-person)
Advisor: Mike Booth
Abstract: Winton Lake, an Army Corps of Engineers-operated flood control project provides valuable recreational fishing opportunities in Cincinnati, OH. Because Winton Lake is a popular recreational fishing location, analyzing the age structure and growth trends of gamefish species can provide pertinent data for fisheries management. Our goal was to survey a variety of gamefish species, including Largemouth Bass, Black and White Crappie, and Bluegill to analyze the relationship between age, size structure and body condition of the populations within Winton Lake. Largemouth Bass were collected in the May 2022 through boat electrofishing, and Bluegill and Black and White Crappie were collected in November 2022 with fyke nets attached to the shoreline. Age data from each species was collected through extracting and aging otoliths under a microscope. Age, size structure and body condition for each species were analyzed by creating age-length keys for all aged fish in Program R, which were then used to assign ages for all sampled fish of interest. We found growth patterns typical for Largemouth Bass in this region, whereas growth functionally stopped after age 3 for Black and White Crappie. Relative weight, a measure of body condition, was healthy for Largemouth Bass, but relatively poor for Crappie and Bluegill. These data suggest that there are competitive interactions in Winton Lake limiting food availability, which could impact the success of the fishery in the future. These results will allow fisheries managers to design new strategies to foster healthy fish populations in this reservoir for recreational fishing.