Fish Population Responses to Improved Lake Habitat Utilizing an Extreme Drawdown

An extreme drawdown conducted on Lake Tohopekaliga rejuvenated littoral substrate, stimulated development of desirable aquatic plants and increased macroinvertebrate production. As a result of these beneficial changes standing crops offish in littoral areas increased from a high of 191 pounds per acre before the drawdown to 455 pounds per acre within two years after reflooding. Limnetic standing crops increased from 59 pounds per acre to 127 pounds per acre during the same period. Biomass of sportfish neady doubled, although forage fish accounted for a higher percentage of the population fonowing reflooding.lndividual species response to the drawdown varied. Numbers of harvestable size sportfish increased following reflooding. The monetary value of the Lake Tohopekaliga fishery increased by 37 percent, or $6,222,186.

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