A Simple Method to Reduce Interpretation Error of Ages Estimated from Otoliths
Bradley J. Smith1, 3, Daniel J. Dembkowski1, 4, *, Daniel A. James2, Melissa R. Wuellner1
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2016
First Page: 1
Last Page: 7
Publisher Id: TOFISHSJ-9-1
Article History:Received Date: 30/4/2015
Revision Received Date: 30/11/2015
Acceptance Date: 1/12/2015
Electronic publication date: 25/3/2016
Collection year: 2016
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
We designed and tested a novel otolith viewing apparatus termed the otolith illumination device (OID) to ascertain if its use would result in a reduction of interpretation error as determined by increased precision of age estimates obtained from otoliths of walleye Sander vitreus and smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu. Clarity of annuli on otolith sections viewed with the OID was generally greater than clarity of annuli on sections viewed with an alternative method. OID-based age estimates were equally as, and in some instance more precise than ages estimated using the alternative method. Additionally, no systematic differences in coefficients of variation across ages were detected between the OID and alternative methods of fish age estimation. Results suggest that the OID may be useful for inexperienced readers and is a viable option for reducing interpretation error, which may improve reader efficiency and accuracy and precision in estimating fish ages.