Long, JM, CT Holley and AT Taylor. 2018. Evaluation of ageing accuracy with complementary non- lethal methods for slow- growing, northern populations of shoal bass. Fisheries Management and Ecology 25:150-157. DOI: 10.1111/fme.12274
Age and growth of Shoal Bass (Micropterus cataractae Williams & Burgess 1999) in the upper Chattahoochee River basin was assessed with non-lethal means (scales and mark-recapture) where some populations are imperiled. Mark-recapture data allowed us to estimate accuracy and determine effects of any scale-based inaccuracies on resulting growth models. Scale-based age estimates were accurate for 57% of the samples and errors included equal numbers of over- and underestimates of age (1 to 3 years). von Bertalanffy growth models using age-dependent data produced similar results to that from an age-independent data for ages 3-8. The use of scales thus complemented the results from mark-recapture by providing estimates of longevity to compare with growth models produced from change in body size over time. These populations of Shoal Bass live longer and grow slower than other populations, suggesting regional approaches to management.