Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
Kyle J. Hartman.
Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the Appalachian Mountains are an important game species in West Virginia, yet angling mortality on these populations in headwater streams is poorly understood. The objectives of this study were to: (1) examine relative changes in body composition of brook trout as they fluctuate throughout the year, and to identify critical periods of survival to determine if brook trout reach critical levels of resource depletion over winter, and (2) evaluate whether angler harvest affects brook trout populations in spring in headwater streams. Body composition estimates indicated that brook trout are unlikely to reach critical levels of resource depletion over winter. Anglers that indicated a preference for native brook trout had a mean catch of 4.5 trout per fishing trip, and this group preferred keeping trout as small as 7.1 inches on average. In addition, decreases in brook trout population abundance coupled with high angler effort likely lead to a decrease in the number of large brook trout present in the study streams.
Webster, Jeremy J., "Reasons for overwinter declines in age-1+ brook trout populations (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Appalachian headwater streams" (2004). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2053.