Effects of spatial and temporal variation on sampling strategies targeting a community of fishes
Yellow perch, alewife, spottail shiner and round goby trawl catch per unit effort (CPUE) was evaluated in the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan from 1984-2006 to determine whether spatial or temporal variation in CPUE for these species occurred. Differences in CPUE among sites or periods were not clearly distinguished within a single sampling year. However, when compared over a 23 year time frame, spatial and temporal differences became evident. To determine the minimum number of samples needed to detect differences among sites and periods, we ran a Monte Carlo simulation using 23 years of empirical data. This compared favorably to results obtained from a power analysis that identified the minimum number of samples required to identify statistical differences. Sampling effort needed to distinguish differences in CPUE varied both spatially and temporally among the four species. Differences in sampling only became evident when multi-year efforts were employed. In addition, spatial and temporal differences in male and female (mature and immature) yellow perch proportions was also evaluated among our sample sites and periods from 1993-2006.