Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title



Due to an increasing number of threats on aquatic life, species richness in the southeastern United States is declining at an alarming rate. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, there are 245 described native fish species in Georgia, and an astonishing 58 species are currently listed as threatened. Therefore, conservation efforts that require frequent, minimally invasive sampling to both establish baseline data and detect population declines are imperative. Sampling small Piedmont streams with minnow traps is effective and relatively easy to implement, but associated biases are poorly understood. More investigation with minnow traps is required to minimize sampling bias, maximize trap efficiency, and allow for comparisons between studies, all of which will benefit conservation efforts. Results from previous studies indicate that minnow traps vary in capture efficiency and researchers have hypothesized that differences could be related to either trap color or minor design differences between models, but none have experimentally tested which factor was most influential. Our primary objective for this project is to evaluate the relative importance of minnow trap color and design on capture efficiency. In order to achieve this objective, we will use two common minnow trap designs in combination with spray paint to examine the influence of each factor on capture results. Akaike’s information criterion will be used to determine the most parsimonious linear regression model among a candidate set of competing models related to daily captures. Our hope is that our results will be useful in refining minnow trapping methods and maximizing conservation management efforts in the state.


University of North Georgia Department of Biology provided funding and equipment.

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