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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Wednesday, November 4 • 10:40am - 11:00am
Brown Trout Population Response to Trophy Regulations and Reservoir Discharge in a Large, Southeastern U.S. Tailwater

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David P. Dreves, Jeff R. Ross -Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; Jarrad T. Kosa, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Reservoir tailwaters can be an important resource for developing quality trout fisheries, especially when managed with special regulations. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 508 mm minimum length limit and a one-fish-per-day creel limit on improving the size structure of the brown trout Salmo trutta population in the Cumberland River below Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. The purpose of the new regulations, which did not include gear or bait restrictions, was to increase the numbers of quality (381-507 mm total length) and trophy-size (≥ 508 mm total length) brown trout in the 121 km tailwater. A significant increase in brown trout electrofishing catch per unit effort was observed across years for small (< 381 mm), quality, trophy-size trout, and all sizes combined. As brown trout electrofishing and angler catch rates increased over time, no corresponding decrease in growth or condition was observed. Annual reservoir discharge was positively correlated with warmer water temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen in the tailwater. Growth and condition of brown trout in the tailwater were inversely correlated with annual discharge from the reservoir. The trophy regulations resulted in an increase in abundance and larger sizes of brown trout in the tailwater without any observed negative density-dependent impacts.

Wednesday November 4, 2015 10:40am - 11:00am EST
Windsor B

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