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Wednesday, January 27 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Sound Management: Using Dual Frequency Identification Sonar To Better Understand The Emigration Of Stocked Juvenile Steelhead

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AUTHORS: Richard R. Budnik* and Jeffrey G. Miner - Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Laboratory, Bowling Green State University; Chuck Murray- Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

ABSTRACT: Over 2 million juvenile steelhead are stocked into Lake Erie tributaries each year to sustain a valuable sport fishery. These juvenile fish are stocked into tributaries and must emigrate to Lake Erie where they grow and mature. Although considerable effort is put into raising and then stocking steelhead, little is known about the tributary residence time and survivorship of these juveniles after stocking. Additionally, the influence that environmental conditions and size effects have on steelhead emigration is not well determined. We implemented a Dual Frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) near the mouth of a small Lake Erie tributary in order to measure juvenile steelhead emigration. Footage was recorded continuously over two stocking seasons (April-May 2014; April-June 2015) and total counts were determined every hour. Fish lengths were estimated using the DIDSON fish-measuring tool. The number of emigrants increased with increased water temperature and photoperiod but was not affected by water discharge rate, contrary to our expectation. Timing of emigration was not statistically related to fish length; however, we found smaller fish (than the average stocked length) remaining in the stream at the end of tracking periods. Population estimation with electroshocking was performed after the DIDSON sampling period and revealed that >4% of the steelhead stocked remained in Trout Run in both years, even > 2 months after stocking.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
Gerald Ford