Decision Support Puzzles for Applied Mathematicians
December 2009 - Fish Finder
Finding the perfect spot in a lake to cast your fishing line is an art that requires skill, patience, and practice. The chance of catching a fish in a particular spot depends on many variables that affect where fish like to swim.
Figure 1 shows a map of a lake divided into small areas with varying environmental characteristics. Each section of the lake has four characteristics: sun or shade, reeds or no reeds, warm or cold water temperature, and varying depths of deep, medium, or shallow. For example, area B1 is sunny, warm, has reeds, and is shallow while G6 is shady, cold, lacking reeds, and deep.
Prior fishing attempts have given you some insight into what kinds of these characteristics fish prefer. You were able to catch a fish in areas D3, H4, E7, and G9. But you were unable to catch a fish in areas G1, G3, D5, and G6.
Question: Which area is the best location to cast your line in order to maximize your chance of catching a fish?