Target species or groups
Important information on survey needs can be gained by clearly identifying the group(s) of interest. In the Great Lakes, these groups may include:
specific species (e.g., alewife, rainbow smelt);
age-classes or age-groups (e.g., age-1, yearling-and-older, young-of-year), or;
fish within particular bathymetric regions (e.g., open water, bays).
By identifying survey targets a priori, we can also identify data limitations that may result from the survey design. For example, a survey designed to quantify open-water pelagic species may have insufficient nearshore estimates for a future analysis of shallow young-of-year. These restrictions should be made explicit for the sake of other researchers who may use the data in the future.