Title page for ETD etd-08252008-162834
|Type of Document
||Garren, Daniel A.
||Impact of localized harvest on the population of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) of Lake Moomaw, Virginia
||Master of Science
||Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
|McMullin, Steve L.
|Ney, John J.
|Mohn, Larry O.
|Murphy, Brian R.
- smallmouth bass harvest
|Date of Defense
Lake Moomaw, a 1,024-ha flood control reservoir in Bath and Allegheny
counties, Virginia contains a migratory population of smallmouth bass that congregate in
the headwaters of the reservoir during the spring spawning period, where they are
vulnerable to a shore-based, harvest-oriented fishery. The extent of this fishery and
resulting effects on the small mouth bass population were analyzed by means of a creel
survey in the headwaters area during the spring spawning seasons of 1995 and 1996.
Effort, catch, and harvest, as well as user characteristics and motivations data were
obtained from direct interviews with anglers using this area. Estimates for 1995
indicated extensive fishing pressure per ha, with 1,167 angler hours per ha spent fishing
for smallmouth bass in the headwaters, while in 1996 almost 1,400 angler hours per ha
were spent in this area. Catch and harvest rates were relatively low and sustainable
during both years, with 124 small mouth bass caught and 82 harvested in 1995, while 318
small mouth bass were caught and 222 harvested in 1996. An extensive capture-recapture
study yielded estimates of exploitation rates for small mouth bass in the reservoir of 12-
15% annually. Exploitation of the whole-lake population occurring in the spring
headwaters fishery was estimated at 4-6%, while the exploitation rate on the subset of the
population using the headwaters during the spring was 11-14%. Analysis of movements
of snlallmouth bass in the reservoir using ultrasonic telemetry and dart tag recaptures
indicated that the subset of the population using the headwaters was mainly drawn from
the upper and middle portions of the reservoir, and that significant amounts of spawning
occurred in the lower section of the reservoir as well. Areas used by smallmouth bass for
reproduction were documented with summer and fall electrofishing to determine relative
abundance of young-of-the-year smallmouth bass in the reservoir, and showed spawning
to take place throughout the reservoir. Densities of young-of-the-year shifted as fall
progressed, with highest densities in the middle portion of the reservoir in early fall,
indicating that reproductive inputs from the headwaters were realized in the lake as fall
progressed. The headwaters fishery is a high-profile activity which, during 1995-96, had
a low and sustainable impact on the Lake Moomaw smallmouth bass population.
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