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Monday, January 29 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
SALMONIDS: Brook Trout Movements in the West Branch of the Wolf River, Wisconsin

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AUTHORS. Emma Easterly, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Daniel Isermann, US Geological Survey; Joshua Pyatskowit, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin; Joshua Raabe, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. The portion of the West Branch of the Wolf River (WBWR) that traverses the Menominee Indian Reservation in central Wisconsin is designated as a class I trout stream with naturally-reproducing brook trout. In 2015, the Menominee Indian Tribe removed two dams and constructed new channels with graded steps to promote upstream and downstream movement. These changes may have affected brook trout movements by providing greater access to different portions of the river, including greater access to lacustrine habitats provided by Upper Bass Lake and the Neopit Mill Pond. Little is known regarding movement of brook trout within this section of the WBWR and seasonal movements could have important implications for management. The objectives of this study are to determine if: 1) brook trout use multiple river segments during the year, including sections of the stream where two dams were removed and channel alterations occurred; 2) brook trout enter Upper Bass Lake and the Neopit Mill Pond as temperature refuge, but eventually return to the WBWR, and 3) brook trout can move freely through a rapids (both up and down) located just upstream of the Neopit Mill Pond. During 2016 and 2017, brook trout were captured at multiple locations using barge and backpack electroshocking. Brook trout = 120 mm were implanted with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. Observed movements during fall 2016 and spring and summer 2017 suggest brook trout freely move throughout the stream, but rarely enter lacustrine habitats. Monitoring of movements will continue through June of 2018.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm CST