Otter guards in river fyke-net fisheries : effects on catches of eels and salmonids

Anders Koed, C. Dieperink

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The effects of otter guards on the fishing efficiency of eel fyke-nets were investigated in two Danish rivers. The otter guards were made of 75-mm mesh netting and were placed across the fyke entrance. The fishing efficiency was measured as catch-per-unit effort and hauling time. Guard nets were mounted in half the fyke-nets, while the other half served as controls. After every haul, the fyke-nets with guard nets were returned to controls and vice versa. For legal-sized eels and salmonids, the guard-net significantly (P <0.05) reduced the catches, causing a 30% reduction of the eel catch and a 53-55% reduction of the salmonid catch. The use of otter guards significantly increased the hauling time. The average time used for hauling a guarded fyke-net was increased by 15-25% for both upstream- and downstream-oriented fyke-nets, respectively. Blockages caused by water-borne debris appear to be the main cause of problems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)63-69
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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