Date of Award

5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Biology

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Randall FitzGerald

Committee Member

Scott Kight

Committee Member

John Smallwood

Subject(s)

Rainbow trout--New Jersey, Rainbow trout--Mortality--New Jersey

Abstract

Rainbow trout are a widely distributed species for recreational angling. The state of New Jersey has 14 streams in which the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries stocks hatchery raised Rainbow Trout. This paper focuses on the Flatbrook-Roy catch and release section of the Big Flat Brook in northwest NJ. From 2012 to 2015, electrofishing surveys conducted by the NJDEP reported significantly less fish within the Flatbrook-Roy catch and release area, compared to the state’s other catch and release area in the South Branch of the Raritan River. This study was designed to investigate and understand the fate of the trout introduced into the Flat Brook-Roy section by looking at their survivorship and movement in and/or out of the catch and release section of the stream. 79 fish were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and introduced into three separate stocking locations from April-September of 2017 and 2018. The data collected across the two years showed that the trout were not traveling outside of the catch and release designated waters. Across the summer months of each year, there was a 100% mortality rate within the sample, all credited to specific mammalian or avian predation events. Between the stocking sites, the trout both stayed longer and survived better at the site with the largest pool dimensions and most in-stream cover. The findings help fisheries management decisions by confirming that the introduced trout do in fact remain within the designated catch and release waters. Future decisions related to fish allocation and fishery regulation should consider stocking sites of adequate size that provide enough cover to increase survivorship and mitigate predation in order to maximize the recreational angling experience.

File Format

PDF

Included in

Biology Commons

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