Fisheries Ecology and Management Spring 2010

FAS 6932

Location: Fisheries Program Millhopper Location

Time: Lecture Friday 9:00-11:30 (mostly discussion) Lab Friday 1:00-3:00.

Instructors: Dr. Carl Walters

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this class.  Students should be familiar with basic spreadsheet operations.  Students are also encouraged to read the Walters and Martell text "Fisheries Ecology and Management" prior to class.  Students should also have access to a computer with Microsoft Excel.

Registration information: Registration conflicts should be cleared with Sherry Giardina, FAS graduate secretary.

Description and background information

This is a special course offered by the Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Science. This course is a graduate course on fisheries stock assessment and management.  This course will focus on modern stock assessment models and why these methods work, why they sometimes fail, and how they can be improved and used in evaluating management decisions.  This course will be based on the book "Fisheries Ecology and Management" authored by Carl Walters and Steve Martell.


The aim of this course is to provide students with concepts and methods needed to work effectively as a consultant or government scientist on common problems in applied fish biology.  These problems range from analysis of fish habitat and population status in relation to conservation and environmental management issues, to fish stock and ecosystem assessment needed for sustainable harvest management.  The course is organized as two meetings each week, a two-hour lecture on a broad topic then a one-hour tutorial or lab/field session to demonstrate specific methods of data gathering and analysis on the topic.  Most of the tutorial sessions are computer-based “laboratories” where students will learn spreadsheet and other methods for data analysis.


Students are expected to have some experience with basic fisheries management concepts and an interest in building computer models to evaluate trade-offs in management decisions.





Jan 8

Overview of issues in applied fish biology

Basic population behavior

Jan 15

Ecological basis of sustainable populations

Optimum harvest strategies

Jan 22

Life history trajectories

Recruitment models

Jan 29

Foraging arena theory

Foraging arena models, Ecosim

Feb 5

Age, growth, and fecundity patterns

Spreadsheets for growth estimation

Feb 12

Bioenergetics analysis for prediction of growth and assessment of predation impact

Spreadsheets for assessment of food intake

Feb 18

Environmental tolerances and niches

Spreadsheets for effects of changes in age structure;

Feb 26

Estimation of local fish abundance and population structure

Introduction to FISHMOD and other spatial models

Mar 5

Tagging experiments for movement, mortality, and harvest rate

Spreadsheet methods for abundance, survival

Mar 19

Designing effective field sampling programs

Simulated field sampling

SRA links

Mar 26

Food web analysis with isotope methods and ecopath/ecosim

Introduction to Ecopath and Ecospace

Download Ecoexe and Ecopath5.1....install Ecopath 5.1 and then unzip Ecoexe and replace the exe file inside the Program Files/Ecopath folder with the files included in Ecoexe....if you are running VISTA or Win7 wait for a new exe file from Carl on Friday but go ahead and install Ecopath 5.1 if you can

Apr 2

Fish stock assessment using generalized removal methods

Spreadsheets for fitting population models

Apr 9

Fish stock assessment using exploitation rate and virtual population methods

Spreadsheets for VPA


Assignments and Data Files

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Links to Lectures (from Fall 2006)

Lecture 1 Part 1

Lecture 1 Part 2

Lecture 2 Part 1

Lecture 2 Part 2

Lecture 3 Part 1

Lecture 3 Part 2

Lecture 4 Part 1

Lecture 4 Part 2

Lecture 5 Tuesday Q and A session (note use your slider bar to fast forward through the first 5 mins when nothing is being discussed)

Lecture 5 Part 1

Lecture 5 Part 2

Lecture 6 Tuesday Q and A session (likelihood lecture)

Lecture 6 Part 1

Lecture 6 Part 2

Lecture 7 Tuesday Q and A session (more on likelihood)

Lecture 7 Part 1

Lecture 7 Part 2

Lecture 8 Part 1

Lecture 8 Part 2

Lecture 9 Part 1

Lecture 9 Part 2

Lecture 10 Tuesday Q and A session

Lecture 10 Part 1

Lecture 10 Part 2

Lecture 11 Part 1

Lecture 11 Part 2

Lecture 12 Tuesday Q and A

Lecture 12 Part 1

Lecture 12 Part 2

photos from J. Flowers

For more information contact Bill Pine or Mike Allen