In 1975, 3.2 km of Summit Creek, Idaho were fenced by the Bureau of Land Management to exclude livestock from the riparian area. Six stream sections were electrofished in 1979 to determine differences in trout abundance, size, and growth between grazed and ungrazed stream sections. Electrofishing stations were paired by habitat type. There were more trout in ungrazed sections than in grazed sections in all three habitat types sampled. With one exception, there were more catachable-sized (200 mm long or longer) rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the ungrazed area than in the grazed area. There was also evidence that the average size of the fish was less in grazed sections. Fish population data were not collected prior to fencing; therefore, it cannot be firmly concluded that the trout population increased within the livestock enclosure as a result of fencing the riparian area. However, the combined results of previous trout habitat improvements documented for Summit Creek, as a result of the fencing, and this study support the conclusion that trout prefer stream areas in ungrazed habitat over grazed habitat.
|Title||Riparian fencing, grazing, and trout habitat preference on Summit Creek, Idaho|
|Authors||Charles R. Keller, Kenneth P. Burnham|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|