US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Density and size estimates of cisco (Coregonus artedii) using analysis of echo peak PDF from a single-transducer sonar
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We estimated size and density of fish in three Wisconsin lakes from echo peak probability density functions (PDFs) obtained at night with a single-transducer 70-kHz echosounder. At night, cisco (Coregonus artedii) dominated the pelagic zone in all three lakes. The beam pattern effect was removed with a deconvolving filter technique. Fish size was estimated by fitting a combination of Rice PDFs to the deconvolved fish scattering PDF. Vertical density profiles and size estimates obtained acoustically corresponded to distributions and lengths of fish caught in vertical gill nets. The proportion of different size classes caught in gill nets agreed fairly well with the proportions determined acoustically. This analysis can be applied to signals from noncalibrated sonars and can be used to calibrate simultaneously obtained echo squared integration values. With calibrated sonars, target strength can be estimated in situ. For Cisco, TS = 21.9 log10L - 67.2, where TS is target strength in (decibels) and L is fish length (centimetres). The average number of Cisco in the three lakes ranged from 89 to 1551 fish/ha, corresponding to a biomass of 2–223 kg/ha. Maximum densities range from 12 to 49 fish/1000 m3.