Reclamation of Pine Creek, Tennessee

Fish in Pine Creek, in DeKalb County, Tennessee, were eradicated with rotenone and brown trout were stocked in the stream. This management tool, stream reclamation, was evaluated by studying the growth rate of the brown trout, their condition, the rate at which other species of fish re-entered the stream, and the effect of the toxicant, rotenone, on the bottom fauna. Populations of bottom dwelling organisms were reduced from 34 to 100 per cent by the rotenone. All organisms except two, Plecoptera and Isopoda, recovered up to or beyond their original abundance within one year after eradication. The brown trout had an average growth rate per month of 11 millimeters in length and 18.1 grams in weight during the 16-month study period. This growtth rate was exceptional when compared to the growth rate of brown trout reported by other investigators and was equal to the growth r,ate of brown trout ina Tennessee hatchery. The coefficients of condition of the brown trout in Pine Creek were low in comparison to brown trout in other streams. These data indicate that reduction of competition results in increased growh rate of brown trout. Species of fish other than trout re-entered the stream approximately three months after eradication. Sixteen months af,ter eradication, 12 of the 17 species of fish originally present in the stream had reappeared. The brown trout did not mature earlier than those in streams that have not been reclaimed. Recommendations and management possibilities are discussed.

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