Niagara Power Project FERC No. 2216

 

A RECREATIONAL FISHING SURVEY OF LEWISTON RESERVOIR IN 2002

 

HTML Format.  Text only

 

Prepared for: New York Power Authority 

Prepared by: Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

 

August 2005

 

___________________________________________________

 

Copyright © 2005 New York Power Authority

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

An angler survey of the Lewiston Reservoir was conducted from April 5, 2002 to November 30, 2002.  Anglers at the reservoir were counted and interviewed three weekdays and both weekend days each week.  From the count and interview data, the total number of hours that anglers fished at the reservoir and their catch and harvest were estimated for each month, season, and species of fish.

Anglers spent an estimated 8,032 hours fishing at the Lewiston Reservoir between April 5 and November 30, 2002.  Most (63 %) fishing effort occurred in the spring (April 5 – June 21), principally in April, and the majority (93%) of the April anglers interviewed were fishing for yellow perch.  Fifty-two percent of May anglers were fishing for yellow perch.  In the summer (June 15 – September 2), anglers most often targeted smallmouth bass (38% of interviewed anglers) and “any species” (34%), with only 8% of anglers targeting yellow perch.  Smallmouth bass (33%) and “any species” (38%) were also the primary targets for anglers in the fall (September 3 – October 31), with 23% of the anglers targeting yellow perch.  Only two anglers were counted and interviewed in winter (November 1 – November 30).  The greatest amount of effort was applied towards yellow perch, and the majority of this effort occurred during April and the spring season. 

Eight species were targeted and twelve species were caught (see table below).  Yellow perch dominated the estimated total catch and harvest accounting for 68% (15,330) of the fish caught and 87% (12,783) of the fish harvested, with the highest targeted catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE, calculated using data from only those anglers that targeted the species) occurring in summer (2.33 fish/hour) and June (3.63 fish/hour).  Smallmouth bass accounted for 12% (2,652) of the fish caught and 4% (586) of the fish harvested, with a targeted CPUE of 1.16 fish/hour in the summer and 1.95 fish/hour in June.  The targeted CPUE for yellow perch and smallmouth bass was similar to the targeted CPUE for these species in the upper Niagara River in 1999.  The other species each accounted for <6% of the total catch.  Few channel catfish and very few largemouth bass, bluegill and brown bullhead were caught.  No white sucker, freshwater drum, round goby, brown bullhead or largemouth bass were harvested.  The greatest number of fish were caught and harvested in April and the spring season.  Yellow perch was the most caught and harvested species in all seasons.  In summer and fall, smallmouth bass was the second most caught species.

Estimated Total Catch and Harvest for the Entire Survey for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

 

 

 

Estimated Totals

Species

Raw Total Catch*

Total Catch

Total Harvest

Total Released

Yellow perch

1,067

15,330

12,783

2,547

Smallmouth bass

165

2,652

586

2,066

Northern pike

25

1,127

6

1,120

White bass

31

1,367

1,245

122

Rock bass

59

920

11

909

White sucker

3

490

0

490

Freshwater drum

21

501

0

501

Round goby

16

179

0

179

Channel catfish

6

68

59

9

Brown bullhead

2

53

0

53

Largemouth bass

1

11

0

11

Bluegill

1

9

9

0

Totals

1,397

22,707

14,699

8,007

*Raw catch total is the sum of each species that anglers indicated during the interview they had caught on the day of the interview.

   

 

ABBREVIATIONS

Agencies

NYSDEC         New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Units of Measure

cfs                    cubic feet per second

hr                     hour

m                     meter

mm                   millimeter

MW                 megawatt

Environmental

CPUE              Catch per unit effort

N                     Number of data points

SE                    Standard Error

Miscellaneous

qa/QC            Quality Assurance/Quality Control

 

1.0     INTRODUCTION

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is engaged in the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston, Niagara County, New York.  The present operating license of the plant expires in August 2007.  As part of its preparation for the relicensing of the Niagara Project, NYPA is developing information related to the ecological, engineering, recreational, cultural, and socioeconomic aspects of the Project. 

The 1,880-MW (firm capacity) Niagara Power Project (NPP) is one of the largest non-federal hydroelectric facilities in North America.  The Project was licensed to the Power Authority of the State of New York (now the New York Power Authority) in 1957.  Construction of the Project began in 1958, and electricity was first produced in 1961.

The Project has several components.  Twin intakes are located approximately 2.6 miles above Niagara Falls.  Water entering these intakes is routed around the Falls via two large low-head conduits to a 1.8-billion-gallon forebay, lying on an east-west axis about 4 miles downstream of the Falls. The forebay is located on the east bank of the Niagara River.  At the west end of the forebay, between the forebay itself and the river, is the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant (RMNPP), NYPA’s main generating plant at Niagara.  This plant has 13 turbines that generate electricity from water stored in the forebay.  Head is approximately 300 feet.  At the east end of the forebay is the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant (LPGP).  Under non-peak-usage conditions (i.e., at night and on weekends), water is pumped from the forebay via the plant’s 12 pumps into the 22-billion-gallon Lewiston Reservoir, which lies east of the plant.  During peak usage conditions (i.e., daytime Monday through Friday), the pumps are reversed for use as generators, and water is allowed to flow back through the plant, producing electricity.  The forebay therefore serves as headwater for the RMNPP and tailwater from the LPGP.  South of the forebay is a switchyard, which serves as the electrical interface between the Project and its service area.

The information to be provided from this survey is an evaluation of recreational fishing (angling). Fisheries surveys on the Reservoir were conducted for the NYPA in 1975 (IA 1975) and 1982-83 (Ecological Analysts 1984) and 2000 (Environnement Illimité 2001).   A limited recreational angler (creel) survey was conducted during a 1982-83 fisheries study.  In 2002, a more intensive shoreline angler survey, the subject of this report, was conducted.  The objectives of the 2002 survey were to:

·         Determine when fishing occurred;

·         Determine what fish species were caught and harvested;

·         Estimate fishing effort by month and season;

·         Estimate catch per unit effort by species;

·         Estimate harvest;

·         Determine angler residency;

·         Collect total length data of fish-catch; and

·         Compare the 2002 to other studies as appropriate.

 

2.0     METHODS

2.1         Investigation Area

Lewiston Reservoir is located five miles north of the City of Niagara Falls, New York and is part of the NYPA Niagara Power Project (Figure 2.1-1).  The Lewiston Reservoir covers approximately 1,900 acres and is surrounded by a steep man-made dike protected from wave action by large rip-rap.

2.2          Field Data Collection Schedule and Effort

Interviews and collection of other data at the Lewiston Reservoir were conducted from April 5 through November 30, 2002.  One technician collected data five days a week during a specified time of day (shift).  The survey was carried out on three randomly selected weekdays and on both weekend days each week during the investigation period.   Angler data were also collected on all Federal holidays during the period.  Angler interviews were conducted during one of two periods of the day, designated as a morning shift or afternoon shift.  Random selection methods were used to determine the weekdays to sample each week, and the shift for each weekend day and weekday to be sampled. When Eastern Standard Time was in effect, all morning shifts began at 7:30 AM and ended at approximately 1:00 PM.  During Daylight Saving Time, morning shifts ended at 2:30 PM.  Accordingly, afternoon shifts began at either 1:00 PM or 2:30 PM, and for safety reasons, ended no later than one hour after sunset.

On every day selected to conduct angler counts and interviews from April 5 through May 6, 2002, the entire shift was spent at the Reservoir.  The schedule and scope for the Reservoir were revised on May 7, when a lower Niagara River angler survey began, of which the Reservoir survey became an integral part.  From May 7 through November 30, the Reservoir became a site along a bus route that included several sites along the lower Niagara River.  Two, one-hour interview-periods were spent at the reservoir during each morning or afternoon shift.  The start-time of the one-hour periods varied within and among shifts. After finishing the one-hour visit at a randomly selected site, the technician visited the other sites as efficiently as possible.  However, by procedure, the two Reservoir visits each day were never back-to-back, and the intervals between Reservoir visits were typically separated by two to four hours.  The results of the angler survey of the lower Niagara River are presented in a separate report.

2.3         General Field Data Collection Procedures

When arriving at the reservoir, and again when leaving, a technician recorded “instantaneous” data on the number of vehicles in the parking lot on the southwest side of the Reservoir adjacent to a NYPA perimeter access gate.  When possible, the types of non-fishing related recreational activities occurring were also recorded.  This data collection effort was conducted in conjunction with a Recreational Facility Use and Capacity Investigation on the lower Niagara River, the results for which will be included in a recreational report.

Soon after arriving and following the instantaneous vehicle counts, the entire reservoir perimeter was visually surveyed as rapidly as possible to determine the number of anglers along the shoreline.  This provided an instantaneous angler count.  Anglers were typically counted while the technician traversed the NYPA perimeter roadway by vehicle.  When the entire road could not be accessed and counts had to be made from a distance, binoculars were used to complete the instantaneous angler counts.  Prior to May 7 an entire shift was completed at the Reservoir.  Following that date the procedure was modified so that two, one-hour site visits were completed with one instantaneous count obtained on each arrival.  On June 6 another modification added an instantaneous count on departure from the site.  Given that the Reservoir site visits could not be concurrent, and the second visit each was scheduled to maintain travel efficiency, the second visit to the Reservoir was often the last visit to any site each day.  As a result, the second count was often completed in twilight.   

Typically, the southwestern corner and southern perimeter were traversed by vehicle or on foot, while the northern and eastern shore was accessed by vehicle or inspected with binoculars.  Much of the western shore was not traversed at all, since NYPA had signed or gated it to exclude public access for safety and security. 

The technician typically interviewed all accessible anglers and avoided interviewing individual anglers more than once per day.  However, the technicians did update interview data (e.g., catch/time fishing) as appropriate if an angler was encountered a second time during a visit.  If an angler arrived on site and had not begun fishing when the technician was leaving, the angler was only polled to determine their target species for the day, and his or her place of residence.   An interview consisted of asking the angler several questions, designed to determine:

·         Whether the angler had fished only at the reservoir on that day;

·         Whether the angler was finished fishing at the reservoir that day;

·         How long the angler had fished the reservoir that day;

·         What species the angler was targeting that day;

·         How many individuals of each species the angler had caught, released or harvested at the reservoir that day; and

·         What the size of fish were and if there were any fin clips, and if the angler would allow the technician to see the fish they had not released, and to collect total length, check for fin clips or tags, and note any diseased fish.

The technician’s primary objective was to interview anglers individually while the angler was still actively fishing (known as a roving survey, or an incomplete trip interview survey).  However, anglers who had finished fishing were also interviewed as they were encountered (a complete trip interview).  Interviews were categorized as complete or incomplete trip data and handled as appropriate in the analytical procedures  (see Section 2.3).  In some instances, the technician was present when an angler was about to release a fish, and, when given permission by the angler, measured the total length of the fish prior to the release. When possible, total length measurements were also obtained from fish that anglers were harvesting. 

Anglers often fished in pairs or small groups and in some cases used the same container to collectively hold fish they caught. When there was uncertainty as to which fish belonged to which angler in a group, they were interviewed as a group.  This approach allowed the anglers to achieve consensus relative to details such as the number of fish the group had caught or released, and the length of time they had fished.  These group data were identified as having been collected as such, so that the information could be properly used in the data analysis. 

Anglers were also asked to provide their state of residence and, in the case of anglers living in New York State, they were also asked for the county of residence.  Weather information was recorded upon arrival at the Reservoir.

Common and scientific names of fish species referred to in this report are provided in Appendix A.

2.4         Calculation of Effort, Catch, Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE), and Harvest Results

Summary data for individual fish species are discussed in terms of strata, monthly or seasonal estimates.   The field sampling effort extended from April 5 through November 30, 2002.  Holiday data were considered as weekend day data within the week in which it fell.  The seasons, which were of unequal length and were developed to reflect New York State fishing regulations, were defined as follows:

·         Spring         April 1 – June 14

·         Summer      June 15 – September 2

·         Fall             September 3 – October 31

·         Winter        November 1 - November 30

The formulae and methods of Pollock et al. (1994) were used for analysis.  Examples of the calculations used are presented in Appendix B.  A single instantaneous angler count (i.e., the count-value of anglers present at the Reservoir when a creel technician arrived at the site) was used in the calculations.   The method used to obtain the count value changed beginning on May 7, 2002.  Prior to this date, there was only one visit each day and only one arrival count value each day. Beginning May 7, the Reservoir was visited twice daily and a count was completed when arriving each time.  To provide a single count value for the summary calculations, the mean of these two instantaneous counts was used for each day.  Throughout this report, several statistical terms are used.  “Mean” is the arithmetic average of several values. “Standard error” (SE) is the estimated standard deviation of a statistic.  It is a measure of the amount of variation present in the data (large SE values indicate more variability).  Two other terms, “Catch per unit effort” and “harvest per unit effort” (CPUE or HPUE) are used.  CPUE (or HPUE) is the number of fish caught (or harvested) per angler hour.  For example, if an angler fished for one hour and caught two fish, the CPUE would be 2 fish/hour.  Equation numbers from Pollock et al (1994) are in parentheses following the formulae.

The period effort (Pêi,) was calculated as:

(Pêi) = Ii x T          (15.4)

where Ii is the average daily instantaneous count and T is the technicians shift length on that day.   

The daily effort estimates (êi) were calculated as:

êi = (Pêi / πi)            (15.5)

where πi is the proportion of possible daylight angling hours (0730 hours to one hour after sunset) surveyed each day.  The possible daylight angling hours were different each month, and was set to 13 hours for April, 14 hours for May, 15 hours for June, 15 hours for July, 15 hours for August, 12.5 hours for September, 12 hours for October, and 10 hours for November.

The total effort for a stratum (Êstratum) was calculated as:

Êstratum =(êistratum)        (15.5)

where êi is the daily effort, πi is the proportion of days sampled in the stratum.  The strata were month, season, and entire survey (April through November).

Table 15.23 in Pollock et al. (1994) was the example followed for the effort calculations in this study (see also Appendix B).

The total effort standard errors (SE) were determined according to Table 15.21 in Pollock et al. 1994.  These were the calculated as the: 

SÊ(Ê) = Ö ((Var(Ê1) + Var(Ê2))

Where the effort variance for each day type is:

Var(Êi)= N2i * (s2i / ni))

And the sample variance for each day type is:

s2i = 1/(ni-1)*∑(êi-ēi)2

For each day type, Ni is the number of days in the stratum, ni is the total number of days sampled, êi is the daily effort, ēi is the mean daily effort.  Weekdays [Var(Ê1)] and weekend days [Var(Ê2)] variance values were calculated separately because the number of each day type differs.

The species-specific angler effort estimates, as discussed in Section 3, use the total daily angler effort that is then modified using the proportion of anglers targeting a species surveyed that day  (see Appendix B).  For example, on a given day there may have been an estimated 100 angler hours expended and four interviews conducted.  If three of the four (0.75) anglers interviewed were seeking yellow perch and all four anglers expended equal effort, the daily effort for yellow perch would be 0.75(100) = 75 angler hours.  The remaining effort calculations (daily mean, monthly and seasonal values) were calculated in the same way as the total hour parameters. 

Catch (C) was estimated using,

                                                                                                     

where R (catch per unit effort, CPUE) was calculated differently depending on the interview type, complete or incomplete.  For completed angler trips, (R) was calculated as the sum of the catches (ci) divided by the sum of the trip lengths (Li) for each species on each day,

                                                     

            With incomplete trip interviews, the CPUE per species was calculated as,

 

where (n) is the number of anglers targeting or capturing a species.  The value was the mean of the individual angler catch rates by species on a given date.

In some cases anglers in groups could not be interviewed as individuals, such as when anglers pooled their catch into a common container and could not recall who caught which fish. They were then interviewed as a group if they could provide their cumulative time spent fishing.  In the analysis this was treated as a single interview and the time spent acquiring the collective catch of fish was adjusted appropriately.  As an example, if there were three anglers who caught 75 of species X in one hour, their CPUE for this species was calculated by dividing 75 by 3 hours.   However, the anglers in the group were considered as individual interviewees relative to the number of interviews obtained during the study. 

To calculate catch and harvest estimates for each stratum, calculations of CPUE were done using the data from all anglers within the stratum, regardless of the species of fish each targeted.  That is, the CPUE is that for all anglers, not for only those anglers that indicated they targeted the species in question.  The daily species-specific catch is the product of the species-specific CPUE and the estimated total angler effort for that date, using the C = E * R equation described above.  The harvest estimates were generated similarly, except that the number of fish kept was substituted for the number caught.  The CPUE was also calculated for yellow perch and smallmouth bass using only data from those anglers targeting each of those species; this CPUE value is defined in this report as the “targeted CPUE”.  The targeted CPUE estimates were calculated to provide CPUE information comparable to the angler survey of the upper Niagara River conducted by NYSDEC in 1999, and because these two species received considerably more angling effort than the other species.  The targeted CPUE values are also presented by month and season.  The standard errors for catch and harvest were generated as:

SÊ(Ĉ) = Ö ((Var(Ĉ 1) + Var(Ĉ 2))

Where the catch variance for each day type is:

Var(Ĉ i)= N2i *Var(      c1)

And the sample catch variance for each day type is:

Var(c1) = (s2i)/n1      

s2i = 1/(ni-1)*∑(cii-c1)2

For each day type, Ni is the number of days in the stratum, ni is the total number of days sampled, cii is the daily catch, ēi is the mean daily catch.  Weekdays [Var(Ĉ 1)] and weekend days [Var(Ĉ 2)] variance values were calculated separately because the number of each day type differs.

The complete trip interview (136 anglers) and incomplete trip interview (395 anglers) data were pooled to obtain the mean daily CPUE.  The mean CPUE values for each species for each month or season were calculated as follows:

Mean CPUE = (S Ri / ni)

The standard error value for each mean value was also calculated as an indication of sample variance.  The calculation was completed as follows:

SE = (Ö  (S (xi - xmean)2 / n-1)) /  (Ö n)

The seasonal, monthly, and total catch and harvest estimates were obtained by multiplying the mean daily catch (C) and harvest (species-specific) by the total number of days in the sampling period as appropriate. 

The number of instantaneous angler counts (weekday and weekend/holiday), the total number of angler-interviews, and the number of anglers seeking specific species were calculated as the sums of the respective parameters.

2.5         Database Management

Quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) measures began in the field to insure that accurate information was gathered.  Experienced creel technicians were routinely used, and as necessary, they trained and supervised new technicians for at least two full shifts prior to a new technician completing a shift independently.  As an additional quality assurance measure, Stantec senior staff that had a thorough knowledge of the Standard Operating Procedures completed 15 unannounced onsite visits. The onsite visits were to insure that creel technicians were following the standard procedures.  Additionally, each technician was provided with a cell phone such that they could call senior staff at any time to ask for guidance if an unusual situation arose in the field.

Prior to leaving the Reservoir, technicians examined datasheets for completeness.  Datasheets were double-counted and signed-in at the office to insure that all were accounted for.  The appropriate technician clarified any questionable data values prior to database entry.  Any corrections that needed to be made to the original datasheet were dated and initialed by the person responsible.

Microsoft Access was used as the database program for this project.  A relational database was constructed with user friendly and efficient data input forms.  As part of the QA/QC program, two individuals entered the same data from each data sheet (double-entry).  After the second entry, the two tables were exported into an Excel spreadsheet and electronically compared.  Any discrepancies were highlighted, the data in question compared to the original datasheet, and the database corrected as necessary.  The date of the initial data entry and the second QA/QC were recorded on the datasheet.

 

Figure 2.1-1

Investigation Area

[NIP – General Location Maps]

 

1.0     RESULTS

This section presents the results of the 2002 angler survey and general comparisons to the results of historical surveys conducted on the Reservoir or upper Niagara River.  These historical surveys include traditional fisheries studies and angler surveys and were conducted at various times between 1975 and 2000.  (NYPA 1984, NYSDEC 1984a, 1984b and 2002, Environnement Illimité 2001).  Only general comparisons to the 2002 results are possible since the objectives, methods, period of study, or environmental factors varied among studies. 

1.1         Instantaneous Angler Counts and Interview Data    

During the survey, April 5 through November 30, the total number of instantaneous angler counts completed was 303 (173 occurred on weekdays and 130 on weekend/holidays).  These data are presented by day type, and for monthly and seasonal periods, respectively in Table 3.1-1 and Table 3.1-2.  Factors such as the procedural change that started on May 7, which increased the number of instantaneous counts completed each visit and the number of visits each day after that date, or the relative difference in length of a period (e.g., the shorter winter period) affected the number of counts within strata.   The number of anglers counted in each of the instantaneous counts is presented in Appendix C. 

A total of 531 anglers were interviewed during the 2002 creel survey (136 of these were complete trip interviews).  In perspective, a total of 470 interviews were completed during a 1999 pilot shore/pier angler survey conducted on the upper Niagara River by the NYSDEC (NYSDEC 2002). Several anglers became known to the technicians, and because of the recognition factor and repeated conversations with anglers some insights on angling habits were determined (i.e., anecdotal/ancillary angler information).  This information indicated it was probable that many anglers fished at the Reservoir, and it was common for anglers to fish the Reservoir more than once a week in spring. 

  Although not quantified, the consensus among the technicians was that angling generally occurred the most on the southern and southeastern shore of the Reservoir (relatively close to the parking lot), while the perimeter adjacent to the Tuscarora Nation land on the east was estimated to be the second most used.

The number of anglers interviewed in 2002 is presented by day type, within months and seasons (Tables 3.1-3 and 3.1-4).  Of the 531 interviews, 316 (or ~60% of the interviews) were obtained on weekend-holidays, and 215 (~40%) on weekdays. This ratio was observed despite the fact that there were fewer weekend days sampled (only 71 days, or ~42% of all sampled days) relative to weekdays (97 days or ~58% of all sampled days).  The numbers of anglers targeting specific species are presented in Tables 3.1-5 and 3.1-6.  For the entire survey more anglers indicated they were fishing for yellow perch than other species, followed by “anything” (i.e., any species that angler could catch) and smallmouth bass.

1.2         Angling Effort

The estimated mean daily angler effort for all months and species combined was 33 hours/day and the total estimated effort was 8,032 hours (Table 3.2-1).  It was clear that the majority of angling effort occurred from April to September.  The highest mean daily angler effort by month for all species combined occurred in April (140 hours/day), followed by May (36 hours/day).  The remaining mean daily efforts ranged between 1 (November) and 28 hours/day (August).  The highest estimated total effort by month was 4,199 hours in April and the least was in November (22 total hours). 

Seasonally, the mean daily angling effort for all species combined was highest at 71 hours/day in spring with an estimated total effort of 5,040 hours (Table 3.2-2).  The least angling effort by season was observed in the short winter season, with a mean of 1 hour/day and a season total of 22 hours.  Estimated mean daily efforts for summer and fall were, respectively, 22 and 17 hours/day. 

Estimated monthly angling efforts, by species, are presented in Table 3.2-3.  Ninety-five percent (3,969 hours) of the angling effort in April and 64% (551 hours) of the effort in May was applied toward yellow perch.  Effort for the next two most targeted species, smallmouth bass and any-species, was much lower in all months, neither exceeding 325 angler hours in any month.  Anglers targeted smallmouth bass mostly from June through September.  Estimated seasonal angling effort, by species is presented in Table 3.2-4.  Eighty-six percent (4,253 angler hours) of the angling effort in spring was for yellow perch.  Effort for smallmouth bass and any-species were the next highest, but neither exceeded 510 angler hours in any season.  Most effort for smallmouth bass was in summer and fall.  The effort for any-species was similar for spring, summer, and fall, with no effort in winter.  Compared to yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and any-species, little effort was applied to other species.

1.3         Catch, Harvest and Catch Per Unit Effort

This section presents the estimates of catch, harvest, catch per unit effort (CPUE), and harvest per unit effort (HPUE) as estimated for the entire survey, by month and by season.  For all strata, these values were calculated using data from all anglers (i.e., the CPUE values were calculated as an average CPUE for all anglers regardless of the species they targeted or caught) within the stratum.  Therefore, the sum of the monthly catch or harvest for the entire survey may not be equal to the estimated catch or harvest as calculated for the entire survey.  This is due to the nature of estimating catch and harvest, which was done by calculating the mean daily catch and harvest within the respective time stratum, then multiplying that value by the total number of days within the time stratum.  The CPUE for yellow perch and smallmouth bass for each month and season was also calculated using data only from those anglers that specifically targeted these two species, defined as “targeted CPUE”.  The targeted CPUE estimates were calculated to provide CPUE information comparable to the angler survey of the upper Niagara River conducted by NYSDEC in 1999, and because these two species received considerably more angling effort than the other species.  The targeted CPUE values are also presented by month and season. 

The estimated total catch and harvest for each species for the entire survey is presented in Table 3.3-1.  Yellow perch dominated the catch and harvest accounting for 68% of the fish caught and 87% of the fish harvested, with a mean CPUE (calculated using data from all anglers) of 0.99 fish/hour.  Smallmouth bass accounted for 12% of the fish caught and 4% of the fish harvested, with a mean CPUE (calculated using data from all anglers) of 0.34 fish/hour.  Northern pike accounted for 5% of the fish caught and nearly 0% of the fish harvest, with a mean CPUE (calculated using data from all anglers) of 0.11 fish/hour.  The other species each accounted for typically <6% of the total catch.  Of these species, only the white bass accounted for more, about 8% of the harvest.  The estimates for white bass are based on few interviews of anglers who caught white bass, and have high standard error values relative to the estimate indicating a large variation in the CPUE.  Therefore, the catch and harvest estimates for white bass are not likely to be accurate.  The CPUE for rock bass was relatively high at 0.17 fish/hour.  Few channel catfish and very few largemouth bass, bluegill and brown bullhead were caught.  No white sucker, freshwater drum, round goby, brown bullhead or largemouth bass were harvested.

The estimated catch for all species on a monthly basis using all data, was the highest in April with an estimated 16,685 fish caught, while the fewest fish were caught in November (only one angler was interviewed, was targeting a yellow perch, and incidentally caught a northern pike) (Table 3.3-2).  Most of the catch occurred from April – September, and the majority was comprised of yellow perch.  The greatest number of fish (84% of the total based on monthly estimates) was harvested in April, with 7% of the total harvested in May.  Seventy-six percent of the April catch and 52% of the May catch was harvested.  Yellow perch accounted for the majority of this harvest.  Yellow perch were caught and harvested in all months except November.  The yellow perch CPUE was always ≥0.3 fish/hour, with the greatest CPUE occurring in April, June and October.  The CPUE for other species was generally <0.3 fish/hour, but rock bass and smallmouth bass had CPUE values >0.3 fish/hour in several months, white bass had a CPUE of 0.37 fish/hour in September and northern pike had a CPUE of 0.43 fish/hour in October.

The highest estimated total catch of the four seasons was in the spring (17,853 fish), with the estimated catch for summer being 3,438 fish, and only 1,528 fish for fall (Table 3.3-3).  Yellow perch was caught and harvested in the greatest numbers and had the highest CPUE in all seasons except the short winter season.  The species with the next highest CPUE was white bass in the spring and smallmouth bass in the summer and fall.  Rock bass CPUE in summer was 0.40 fish/hour and northern pike and white bass CPUE in fall was 0.31 and 0.24 fish/hour respectively.  The CPUE for all other species in spring, summer and fall was ≤0.13.

The targeted CPUE of yellow perch and smallmouth bass by anglers that specifically targeted each of these species is presented in Tables 3.3-4 and 3.3-5.  The targeted yellow perch CPUE was highest in June, with relatively high values in April and October.  May had the lowest targeted CPUE for yellow perch. November was excluded because only one angler, who targeted yellow perch, was interviewed.  The targeted CPUE was highest in summer.  The targeted smallmouth bass CPUE was greatest in June and summer, with a targeted CPUE of zero in May.

1.4         Fish Total Length Data

Lengths were obtained from five species of fish, yellow perch (451 fish); smallmouth bass (41 fish); northern pike (7 fish); white bass (11 fish); and channel catfish (4 fish).  The measurements are presented in length frequency categories by species, and by month (Table 3.4-1) and season (Table 3.4-2).

The yellow perch lengths ranged across nine length frequency categories.  The smallest fish were in a 180-200 mm length category (17 of 451 fish), the largest in a 341-360 mm category (2 of 451 fish).  However, the lengths were skewed to three length frequency categories (80% of the measured fish) that ranged from 201 to 260 mm.

The smallmouth bass measurements were spread across 21 length frequency categories ranging from 80-100 mm to 481-500 mm.  Most smallmouth bass (78% of the measured fish) were contained within six categories that ranged from 301 mm through 420 mm.  There was another modal group (10% of the total measured) that fell between 80 and 140 mm, and a third group (7% of the total) between 460 and 500 mm.

The seven northern pike measurements ranged across 18 length frequency categories (from 460-820 mm).  The lengths were relatively evenly dispersed.

1.5         Angler Demographics

Five-hundred-twenty-four (524) of the anglers interviewed provided demographic information (Table 3.5.1).  Most anglers were from New York State (>98%) though anglers fishing at the Reservoir also represented four other states (Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Virginia).  Anglers from New York State were from Niagara County (~72% of the anglers), Erie County (~26%), with < 2% representing Steuben, Monroe, and one unidentified county.

 

Table 3.1-1

Number of Instantaneous Angler Counts and Sum of Anglers Counted by Month and Day-Type for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Month

#

Weekday

Counts

#

Weekend

Counts

 

Total Number of Counts*

 

Sum of Anglers Counted in all Counts*

April

11

8

19

205

May

24

16

40

56.5

June

22

22

44

28.5

July

28

20

48

34

August

20

14

34

30

September

23

20

43

43

October

25

16

41

13.5

November

20

14

34

2

Total

173

130

303

413

 

* Procedural changes resulted in a shorter visit, but more visits/day and counts/visit beginning May 7. The sum of anglers counted beginning May 7 is the sum of the average of the number of anglers counted each sample day, and therefore is not necessarily a whole number.

 

Table 3.1-2

Number of Instantaneous Angler Counts and Sum of Anglers Counted by Season and Day-Type for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

 

 

Season

# Weekday

Counts

# Weekend

Counts

 

Total Number of Counts*

 

Sum of Anglers Counted in all Counts*

Spring

47

34

81

275.5

Summer

58

50

108

79.5

Fall

48

32

80

55.5

Winter**

20

14

34

2

Totals

173

130

303

413

 

*Procedural changes resulted in a shorter visit, but more visits/day and counts/visit beginning May 7. The sum of anglers counted beginning May 7 is the sum of the average of the number of anglers counted each sample day, and therefore is not necessarily a whole number.

**Winter = November only.

 

Table 3.1-3

Number of Anglers Interviewed by Month and Day-Type for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Month/Day type*

# Interviews

April WE

68

April WD

119

April (all)

187

May WE

60

May WD

16

May (all)

76

June WE

49

June WD

19

June (all)

68

July WE

35

July WD

16

July (all)

51

August WE

43

August WD

17

August (all)

60

September WE

40

September WD

18

September (all)

58

October WE

19

October WD

10

October (all)

29

November WE

2

November WD

0

November (all)

2

Total

531

Weekend Total

316

Weekday Total

215

 

* WD and WE = weekdays and weekend days, respectively.

 

Table 3.1-4

Number of Anglers Interviewed by Season and Day-Type for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Month/Day-Type*

# Interviews

Spring WD

140

Spring WE

157

Summer WD

47

Summer WE

100

Fall WD

28

Fall WE

57

Winter** WD

0

Winter** WE

2

Total

531

Season

# Interviews

Spring

297

Summer

147

Fall

85

Winter**

2

Total

531

 

* WD and WE = weekdays and weekend days, respectively.

** Winter = November only.

 

Table 3.1-5

Number of Anglers Targeting a Species by Month and Day-Type for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Target Species Identified

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

Totals

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

Yellow perch

95

61

10

27

 

5

3

7

 

 

6

5

8

2

 

2

231

Anything

6

 

4

14

14

37

2

8

8

19

7

20

1

8

 

 

148

Smallmouth bass

1

2

5

5

7

6

9

22

3

19

11

9

5

5

 

 

109

Largemouth bass

 

 

3

1

4

 

1

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

Northern pike

 

 

 

2

 

5

 

2

 

 

2

 

 

2

 

 

13

Freshwater drum

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Rock bass

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

White bass

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

4

Channel catfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Total

103

64

22

49

25

55

17

45

11

50

27

34

14

17

 

2

535**

 

* WD and WE = weekdays and weekend days, respectively.

**Several of the 531 anglers interviewed indicated they were targeting >1 species.

 

Table 3.1-6

Number of Anglers Targeting a Species by Season and Day-Type for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Target Species

Identified

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Total

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

*WD

*WE

Yellow perch

105

90

3

10

14

7

 

2

231

Anything

15

41

19

39

8

26

 

 

148

Smallmouth bass

6

9

19

45

16

14

 

 

109

Largemouth bass

3

1

5

4

 

 

 

 

13

Northern pike

 

2

 

7

2

2

 

 

13

Freshwater drum

1

1

 

4

 

 

 

 

6

Rock bass

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

7

White bass

 

 

2

1

1

 

 

 

4

Channel catfish

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

4

Total

130

144

48

121

41

49

0

2

535**

 

* WD and WE = weekdays and weekend days, respectively.

**Several of the 531 anglers interviewed indicated they were targeting >1 species.

 

Table 3.2-1

Mean Daily and Total Angler Effort Expressed in Hours Rounded to the Nearest Hour (with Standard Errors) by Month for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Month

Effort* (whole hrs)

S.E.

April daily mean

140

28

April total

4,199

991

May daily mean

36

16

May total

902

370

June daily mean

19

5

June total

329

118

July daily mean

21

4

July total

574

94

August daily mean

28

7

August total

775

149

September daily mean

26

6

September total

791

199

October daily mean

7

3

October total

198

64

November daily mean

1

1

November total

22

22

Entire survey mean

33

5

Entire survey total**

8,032

723

*See sample calculations in Appendix B.  Effort can also be calculated using Equation 15.5 in Pollock et al. 1994.

**The total effort for the entire survey was calculated by aggregating the data over the entire survey.  Therefore, the summation of the monthly or seasonal effort estimates does not equal the total effort estimate.

 

Table 3.2-2

Mean Daily and Total Angler Effort Expressed in Hours Rounded to the Nearest Hour (with Standard Errors) by Season for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

Season

Effort* (whole hrs)

S.E.

Spring daily mean

71

14

Spring total

5,040

1,154

 

 

 

Summer daily mean

22

3

Summer total

1,589

199

 

 

 

Fall daily mean

17

4

Fall total

860

189

 

 

 

Winter daily mean

1

1

Winter total

22

22

 

 

 

Entire survey mean

33

5

Entire survey total**

8,032

723

*See sample calculations in Appendix B.  Effort can also be calculated using Equation 15.5 in Pollock et al. 1994.

**The total effort for the entire survey was calculated by aggregating the data over the entire survey.  Therefore, the summation of the monthly or seasonal effort estimates does not equal the total effort estimate.

 

Table 3.2-3

Mean and Total Species-Specific Angler Effort Values in Hours (with Standard Errors) by Month for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

 

Yellow perch

Smallmouth bass

Freshwater drum

Northern pike

Rock bass

Month

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

April

133

28

3,969

970

2

2

57

41

1

1

38

29

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

22

13

551

299

2

1

57

23

0

0

0

0

1

1

26

26

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June

1

0.5

15

11

3

2

110

65

0

0

0

0

1

1

17

12

0.2

0.2

5

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

2

1

70

28

8

2

218

63

0

0

0

0

0.5

0.4

12

8

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August

0

0

0

0

7

3

171

70

1

1

13

13

0

0

0

0

1

1

16

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September

4

2

125

60

7

3

258

125

0

0

0

0

0.4

0.4

16

15

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October

2

1

57

24

2

1

44

27

0

0

0

0

1

1

14

14

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November

1

1

22

22

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

See sample calculations in Appendix B. Mean hrs. =  mean daily angler hours.

*Total effort can also be calculated using Equation 15.5 in Pollock et al. 1994.

 

Table 3.2-3 (Cont.)

Mean and Total Species-Specific Angler Effort Values in Hours (with Standard Errors) by Month for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

 

 

Largemouth bass

White bass

Channel catfish

Any-species

Month

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs*

SE

April

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

2

109

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

1

1

26

18

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

9

6

202

130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June

1

1

19

19

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

13

5

299

93

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

0.8

0.5

21

12

0.6

0.4

19

16

0.4

0.4

9

9

2

1

46

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

10

11

5

325

144

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September

0

0

0

0

0.1

0.1

3

3

0

0

0

0

12

4

281

92

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

2

82

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

See sample calculations in Appendix B. Mean hrs. =  mean daily angler hours.

*Total effort may also be calculated using Equation 15.5 in Pollock et al. 1994.

 

Table 3.2-4

Mean Daily and Total Species-Specific Angler Effort Values in Hours (with Standard Errors) by Season for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

 

Yellow perch

Smallmouth bass

Northern pike

Largemouth bass

Channel catfish

Season

Mean Hrs.*

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Spring

58

14

4,253

1,118

2

1

123

46

0.5

0.5

26

26

0.4

0.3

27

19

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

1

0.5

86

34

7

2

486

114

1

0.3

33

16

1

0.3

45

25

0.3

0.2

18

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall

3

1

181

59

5

2

306

123

1

0.4

30

19

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter

1

1

22

22

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole year

19

5

4,542

1,120

4

1

915

174

0.5

0.2

88

36

0.3

0.1

71

31

0.1

0.1

18

13

 

Freshwater drum

Rock bass

White bass

Any-species

 

 

 

 

Season

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

Mean Hrs.

SE

Total Hrs.

SE

 

 

 

 

Spring

0.5

0.3

35

27

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

3

510

170

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

0.2

0.2

10

10

0.3

0.2

17

13

0.3

0.2

23

18

7

2

468

135

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.04

0.04

3

3

9

3

470

101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole year

0.2

0.1

45

28

0.1

0.1

17

13

0.1

0.1

25

19

7

1

1,447

257

 

 

 

 

See sample calculations in Appendix B. Mean hrs. =  mean daily angler hours.

*Total effort can also be calculated using Equation 15.5 in Pollock et al. 1994.

 

Table 3.3-1

Mean Daily CPUE, Catch, and Harvest with Estimated Total Catch and Harvest (with Standard Errors) for the Entire Survey for Lewiston Reservoir in 2002

 

Raw catch total*

Mean Daily CPUE

Mean Daily CPUE SE

Mean Daily Catch

Mean Daily Catch SE

Mean Daily Harvest

Mean Daily Harvest SE

 

Estimated Totals

Total Catch

Catch SE

Total Harvest

Harvest SE

Total Released

Yellow perch

1,067

0.99

0.23

68

19

56

17

15,330

4,408

12,783

3,814

2,547

Smallmouth bass

165

0.34

0.05

12

3

3

1

2,652

759

586

259

2,066

Northern pike

25

0.11

0.03

5

3

0.02

0.02

1,127

556

6

6

1,120

White bass

31

0.13

0.06

7

6

7

6

1,367

1,103

1,245

1,098

122

Rock bass

59

0.17

0.04

5

2

0.05

0.03

920

290

11

8

909

White sucker

3

0.02

0.01

2

1

0

0

490

317

0

0

490

Freshwater drum

21

0.08

0.03

2

1

0

0

501

198

0

0

501

Round goby

16

0.05

0.02

1

0.3

0

0

179