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LINCOLN, Nebraska - Scientists and Fisheries Biologists with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (UNL) and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will begin a five-year study to understand the locations of anglers throughout the year and their possible influence on fish populations.

Kevin Pope, Ph.D., assistant leader of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit housed at UNL will lead this effort.

There are many reasons that people participate in recreational fishing. There are equally as many reasons why anglers choose to fish on certain water bodies. Anglers will be interviewed in person to determine how much time they spend fishing on various reservoirs, along with what fish they caught and released or harvested.

"Angling is the most influential mechanism structuring fish populations in freshwater systems," said Pope. "The purpose of this project is to gain an understanding of the factors affecting peoples' decisions on what reservoir to fish."

This study has several components. One component will be documenting the amount of time anglers spend at five Nebraska reservoirs - Calamus, Harlan County, McConaughy, Merritt and Sherman -- and their catches. To accomplish this task, anglers at these reservoirs will be interviewed April through October during the next five years. Anglers at an additional three to six reservoirs not yet determined also will be interviewed during that period.

Another component will be determining what factors lead to anglers' decisions to fish one reservoir rather than a nearby reservoir within the Salt Valley region. This task will involve year-round interviews of anglers over the next four years. These interviews will be conducted during both daytime and nighttime.

The information that will be gained through this study is vital to understanding of interactions between anglers and their quarry. Individuals interested in becoming a creel clerk should contact Pope or the Commission's fisheries staff within their district.

Media Contact

Scott Bonertz (402) 471-5565 or