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Ashley Shannon
Ashley Shannon

Debunking angler lore: Can the Farmer's Almanac really forecast catch rates?

Ashley Shannon, senior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major, examined angler catch-rates. Both environmental and social factors influence angler catch-rates, and several resources are available that claim to forecast angler success. The Farmer's Almanac "fishing calendar" predicts daily fishing conditions and, while the exact formula is unknown, the forecasts are widely accepted in popular culture. The study attempted to corroborate historic fishing conditions using creel data collected from Enid Lake, northcentral Mississippi. Catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) as hourly catch-rates for boat anglers were calculated over three years (2006, 2010, 2014). Those estimates were then compared to the Farmer's Almanacs' predicted fishing conditions (poor, fair, good, best) using linear regression. The influence of year and fishing condition were evaluated by parameterizing models that included and excluded their effect on mean angler catch rates. Conclusions of the research suggest that local conditions and weather may influence fishing conditions, however, other abiotic factors, including water temperature, light intensity, and barometric pressure, may better predict fishing success. Until we better understand mechanisms behind fishing success, the Farmer's Almanac "fishing calendar" should not be the sole resource used by anglers seeking high catch-rates.


News / Recognition

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Katherine Abell, a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major, and Zachary Senneff, a forestry major, were among the winners of the 2014 MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Abell placed first in the community engagement and social sciences categories and Senneff placed second in the biological sciences and engineering category.

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