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Wednesday, January 31 • 9:00am - 9:20am
STREAMS, DAMS & RESERVOIRS: Population Dynamics and Demographics of Smallmouth Bass in the Snake River, Idaho

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AUTHORS. Conor McClure, University of Idaho; Michael C. Quist, US Geological Survey; Joseph R. Kozfkay, Idaho Department of Fish and Game; Mike P. Peterson, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

ABSTRACT. Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu are a popular sport fish native to the Midwest and portions of the northeastern United States.  They have been stocked outside of their native distribution for more than a century and were reportedly stocked in the Snake River as early as the late 1800s.  In addition to past stocking efforts, impoundment of the Snake River and water storage practices have  led to habit alterations that more closely resemble the native habitat of Smallmouth Bass.  Between 1972 and 2006 Smallmouth Bass abundance increased (2,200%) in the portion of the Snake River near Swan Falls Dam.  As a result, the Snake River between Swan Falls Dam and Brownlee Reservoir now supports a popular Smallmouth Bass sport fishery.  Other than these long-term trends, little is known about the Smallmouth Bass population(s) in this portion of river or in its major tributaries (Boise, Payette, and Weiser rivers).  Forty, 2-km long sites were sampled in the Snake River via boat electrofishing in 2016.  Additionally, nine sites (13.5 km) were sampled in the three major tributaries using a combination of boat, canoe, and raft electrofishing.  Length and weight of captured fish were recorded and dorsal spines were collected.  Fish over 260 mm were tagged with individually marked T-bar anchor tags.  Tags displayed a phone number that allowed anglers to report capture.  Angler reports were used to identify coarse movement patterns from the initial tagging location to the point of capture and to estimate exploitation and use.  Several population indices such as proportional size distribution and relative weight were calculated.  Furthermore, growth, recruitment, and mortality were characterized and used to describe the population.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am CST
102C