Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 405–440 | Cite as

Stock assessment in inland fisheries: a foundation for sustainable use and conservation

  • K. Lorenzen
  • I. G. Cowx
  • R. E. M. Entsua-Mensah
  • N. P. Lester
  • J. D. Koehn
  • R. G. Randall
  • N. So
  • S. A. Bonar
  • D. B. Bunnell
  • P. Venturelli
  • S. D. Bower
  • S. J. Cooke


Fisheries stock assessments are essential for science-based fisheries management. Inland fisheries pose challenges, but also provide opportunities for biological assessments that differ from those encountered in large marine fisheries for which many of our assessment methods have been developed. These include the number and diversity of fisheries, high levels of ecological and environmental variation, and relative lack of institutional capacity for assessment. In addition, anthropogenic impacts on habitats, widespread presence of non-native species and the frequent use of enhancement and restoration measures such as stocking affect stock dynamics. This paper outlines various stock assessment and data collection approaches that can be adapted to a wide range of different inland fisheries and management challenges. Although this paper identifies challenges in assessment, it focuses on solutions that are practical, scalable and transferrable. A path forward is suggested in which biological assessment generates some of the critical information needed by fisheries managers to make effective decisions that benefit the resource and stakeholders.


Assessment tools Fisheries management Inland fisheries Sustainable fisheries 



This paper evolved from the discussions at the Biological Assessment Panel of the UN FAO/Michigan State University World Inland Fisheries Conference. We acknowledge the vision of William Taylor, Devin Bartley and other members of the organizing committee in putting this meeting together. Lorenzen is partially supported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Cooke is supported by the Canada Research Chairs program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Carleton University. Cooke and Bower are further supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council via the Too Big to Ignore Network. This article is Contribution 2049 of the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Lorenzen
    • 1
  • I. G. Cowx
    • 2
  • R. E. M. Entsua-Mensah
    • 3
  • N. P. Lester
    • 4
  • J. D. Koehn
    • 5
  • R. G. Randall
    • 6
  • N. So
    • 7
  • S. A. Bonar
    • 8
  • D. B. Bunnell
    • 9
  • P. Venturelli
    • 10
  • S. D. Bower
    • 11
  • S. J. Cooke
    • 11
  1. 1.Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resource and ConservationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Hull International Fisheries InstituteUniversity of HullHullUK
  3. 3.Water Research InstituteCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchAccraGhana
  4. 4.Science and Research BranchOntario Ministry of Natural Resources and ForestryPeterboroughCanada
  5. 5.Applied Aquatic EcologyArthur Rylah Institute for Environmental ResearchHeidelbergAustralia
  6. 6.Great Lakes Laboratory for Aquatic Science, Canadian Centre for Inland WatersFisheries and Oceans CanadaBurlingtonCanada
  7. 7.Mekong River CommissionPhnom PenhCambodia
  8. 8.U.S. Geological Survey Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research UnitUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  9. 9.U.S. Geological SurveyGreat Lakes Science CenterAnn ArborUSA
  10. 10.Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation BiologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA
  11. 11.Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology and Institute of Environmental ScienceCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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