Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

Committee Chair

Kyle J. Hartman.


Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are the only salmonid native to the Appalachians. They are a resilient species, populating small, low productive streams. Although such streams have historically been abundant in the Appalachians, brook trout populations have been threatened due to habitat degradation such as logging and acidification of waters. The objective of this study was to evaluate brook trout habitat use, home range, and movement patterns in an Appalachian headwater stream during spring and more specifically high flow events. I implanted brook trout with radio tags and tracked their movement for approximately 30 days during late spring 2002 and early spring 2003. The hypotheses tested were as follows; (1) There is no difference between habitat used by brook trout and available habitat, (2) High flow events have no affect on brook trout habitat selection or movement, (3) Spatial structure of preferred habitat does not influence movement. The results of my research showed that brook trout used pools as their primary habitat and that large woody debris was used as cover and as a pool forming structure more than what can be expected by chance. Other habitat variable use such as water depth and velocity were artifacts of pool use. Results also showed that brook trout were very mobile, moving hundreds of meters in one day.