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Survival and movement patterns of Rainbow Trout stocked in a groundwater-influenced warmwater stream

December 20, 2020

Stocking Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss to create additional angling opportunities is common; however, the spatial and temporal dynamics of such stocking practices are unclear in groundwater-influenced, warmwater streams. Our objectives were to determine Rainbow Trout dispersal from a stocking location on Spavinaw Creek, Oklahoma and to quantify apparent survival of two cohorts of Rainbow Trout stocked in November 2018 and February 2019. Rainbow Trout were PIT-tagged prior to autumn (N = 495) and winter (N = 605) stocking and located poststocking using both an active floating array and two passive fixed arrays. We actively tracked a 6-km extent every 2–3 weeks poststocking and found that PIT-tagged Rainbow Trout dispersal ranged from 0 to 4 km with ~90% of detected tagged fish remaining within 1 km of the stocking location. Directional movement by stocked Rainbow Trout was evident with upstream movements related to increases in daily water discharge and downstream movements related to decreases in daily discharge. Estimated apparent weekly survival of Rainbow Trout was lowest during the first 2 weeks poststocking (91% and 75% for autumn and spring cohorts, respectively). Apparent weekly survival rates for both autumn and spring stocked fish increased through winter and spring when maximum water temperatures were below 25℃, reaching survival rates of 99% by the end of spring. Rainbow Trout persisted in Spavinaw Creek throughout the summer; however, the weekly apparent survival rate declined for both cohorts (93%) when maximum daily water temperatures exceeded 25°C. Our results can be used to guide stocking decisions in similar warmwater streams and suggest that Rainbow Trout persist through spring and summer poststocking under the conditions encountered during our study.

Publication Year 2021
Title Survival and movement patterns of Rainbow Trout stocked in a groundwater-influenced warmwater stream
DOI 10.1002/nafm.10566
Authors S. L. Wolf, Shannon K. Brewer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70228978
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta