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Effect of Environmental Factors on the Movement of Rainbow Trout in the Deerfield Reservoir System

Spawning movements and the factors affecting those movements are often of interest to fisheries managers and biologists. The objective of this study was to examine the influence of environmental factors on the movements of an adfluvial Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss population in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Three unique strains of hatchery-reared Rainbow Trout and resident Rainbow Trout were implanted with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and movements between Deerfield Reservoir and the Castle Creek tributary system were monitored from August, 2010-July, 2011. Initial adfluvial movements of Rainbow Trout were detected using a stationary PIT tag reader deployed near the mouth of Castle Creek. Multiple linear regressions were used to model the relationship between PITtagged Rainbow Trout movement and water temperature, photoperiod, and discharge. Using Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) to compare models, discharge was the top supported model explaining variation in Rainbow Trout movement. Additionally, models containing temperature and photoperiod were also supported. Supported models only explained moderate levels of variation (<23%) in Rainbow Trout movement. Understanding how environmental variables affect the movement patterns of this unique population is essential in determining the proper management strategy for the Deerfield Reservoir system.


Jeremy L. Kientz, Jacob L. Davis, Steven R. Chipps, Gregory Simpson

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