Intake Screens for Sampling Fish Populations: The Size-Selectivity Problem
anchovy, fish population, intake, intake screens, menhaden, screens, shrimp
Journal or Book Title
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
We compared the size selectivity of the intake screens at the P.H. Robinson generating station on Galveston Bay, Texas with that of a 3-m otter trawl hauled in the intake waters and evaluated a means of predicting size selectivity of the intake screens. We did this for brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus), white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus), gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus), bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli), sand seatrout (Cynoscion arenarius), and Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus). The trawl generally caught smaller individuals than the intake screens, with the relative frequency of catch by size gradually increasing to a peak at an indeterminate length of a species, then decreasing as its length increased. Conversely, the relative frequency of collection at the intake screens increased abruptly at a predictable threshold length. Above this threshold, catches decreased gradually, presumably because larger individuals were both less abundant and less susceptible to capture than smaller ones. Based on our results, we concluded that intake screens are a practical means of sampling fish populations and provide data that are as useful as trawl data for most fishery analysis.