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The true picture of a lake or reservoir fish stock: A review of needs and progress

Jan Kubečka, Eva Hohausová, Josef Matěna, Jiří Peterka, Upali S Amarasinghe, Scott A Bonar, Jon Hateley, Phil Hickley, Petri Suuronen, Vladimir Tereschenko, Robin Welcomme, Ian J Winfield
Fisheries Research, 2009, 96(1): 1-5
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The conference ‘Fish Stock Assessment Methods for Lakes and Reservoirs: Towards the True Picture of Fish Stock’ (FSAMLR) was held in September 2007 in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. A total of 110 participants from 34 countries attended the meeting and 93 lectures were presented. Great advances were reported in fish surveys using hydroacoustics and multimesh gillnet techniques, with nearly 60% of all presentations dealing with these topics. In contrast, the use of other active sampling gear, especially trawling and purse seining, received relatively little attention and still requires substantial further development. Reviews of standardization of fish sampling in the European Union, Russia and North America were also presented and clearly showed the benefits of standardized procedures. A number of contributions emphasized the need to use a combination of several methods for the same habitat. A true picture of the fish stock includes knowledge of the abundance, biomass, number of species, size and age compositions. Obtaining results of assured quality for all important lake and reservoir habitats and time periods still presents a significant challenge, although good progress is being made towards this important objective.

Keywords: accuracy; active and passive gear; catch statistics; fish stock assessment; ground truthing; intercalibration; interpretation; standardization