**The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below. For a copy of the completion report, please contact the GLFC via e-mail or via telephone at 734-662-3209**
Evaluation of alternative sampling strategies for stream fish assessment
Michael L. Jones1, Jerry Weise2, Amy L. Derosier1, and Katherine L. Smith3
1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
2Department of Fisheries and Oceans, 1 Canal Drive, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada
3Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens GA, USA
We conducted a field comparison of several methods for assessing fish species composition of streams being considered for sea lamprey barrier construction. We compared three gear types – Smith-Root and AbP backpack shockers and a Smith-Root barge shocker – by sampling randomly chosen sites in two watersheds with each gear and comparing the efficiency of species accumulation (number of species captured per unit sampling effort). We also compared single and 2-pass methods of electrofishing for the backpack units. The backpack units demonstrated similar species accumulation efficiencies, with the AbP units being more efficient on Bowmanville Creek (Ontario) and the Smith-Root units being more efficient on the Cedar River (Michigan). Differences between the units were small enough that we concluded either gear type would be suitable for species composition surveys. The barge shocker was less efficient but yielded several species not captured by the backpack gear at comparable sites. We recommend using barge shockers in wide, wadable stream reaches whenever possible, despite the lower efficiency of this gear. Two-pass sampling did not add species rapidly enough to justify preference for this approach over traveling to a new location after a single pass of electrofishing. The results of this study will be used to modify a draft protocol for fish species assessment to be used by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for assessment of barrier candidate streams.