Problem #190


A biologist wants to calculate the number of fish in a lake. On May 1 she catches a random sample of 60 fish, tags them, and releases them. On September 1 she catches a random sample of 70 fish and finds that 3 of them are tagged. To calculate the number of fish in the lake on May 1, she assumes that 25% of these fish are no longer in the lake on September 1 (because of death and emigrations), that 40% of the fish were not in the lake May 1 (because of births and immigrations), and that the number of untagged fish and tagged fish in the September 1 sample are representative of the total population. What does the biologist calculate for the number of fish in the lake on May 1?

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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