The presentation was given by R.J. Edwards (of the University of TX-Pan
American) at the 1993 ASIH meetings in Austin, TX. It was part of a special
symposium dedicated to the life and research of Clark Hubbs, mostly by his
Hubbs participated in a VERY vocal discussion afterwards on the faults and
limitations of the study, so take it for what it's worth.
The abstract follows...
Influence of bait on catchability of fishes using minnow traps; or is
Ken-L-Ration the "Breakfast of Champions?"
"Minnow traps are often used in areas where other collecting methods are
impractical, such as many desert warm spring systems. In protected habitats,
such as those found in wildlife refuges, population assessments and trends
of native or introduced are often of prime importance to the management of
these species. A well known problem in sampling aquatic environments has
always been that any given method involves some degree of bias in terms of
the catchability of various species. Researchers have used various baits in
minnow traps with little regard to whether bias occurs in the species
attracted to the traps. The influence of different baits on the ability to
capture fishes with this method was systematically examined. An experiment
was conducted in a small man-made irrigation supply lake (surface area of
approximately one hectare) in Edinburg, TX. In all, fourteen different baits
were tested using unbaited traps as controls. The 341 trap sets yeilded over
seven thousand fishes of eight species. In general, the control traps, using
no bait, captured fishes in the same relative abundance that was determined
using other methods. No statistical differences were found in overall
catchability of fishes with respect to bait type, although some species
apparently avoided traps filled with certain baits."
Anybody out there want to try to duplicate the study, and see if you get
different results? Perfect science fair project for somebody's kids...
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