Effect of mesh size on baited trap catch composition for noble crayfish (Astacus Astacus)
Minimum size is a common management regulation in noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) fisheries. The most used catching method baited traps, catch crayfish down to 50 mm total length (TL). In Norway the minimum size is 95 mm TL and this regulation allow female crayfish to spawn a least once before being harvested. To reduce the fraction of non-legal sized crayfish in trap catches, mesh-size were increased from 17.5 to 21 mm (knot to knot) in Lake Steinsfjorden (1983) and nationwide (2001). We compared catch per unit effort data in traps with different mesh sizes from the two most important noble crayfish fisheries in Norway to evaluate the effects of the regulation. Traps with mesh size 21 mm catch significantly fewer crayfish compared to traps with 17.5 mm and 12 mm. As intended, traps with 21 mm caught significantly less non-legal sized crayfish compared to 17.5 mm. Increased mesh size thus reduce the catch-induced mortality of non-legal sized crayfish, resulting in a larger spawning population. Mesh size regulations is an important management tool, especially for recruitment limited crayfish population, and is rather easy to enforce compared to minimum size.
Auteurs du document :
S.I. Johnsen, J. Skurdal, T. Taugbøl, E. Garnås
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Mots clés :
trap selection, minimum size, noble crayfish, sélectivité de piège, taille minimum, écrevisse à pattes rouges