Waters Creek -- a Trophy Trout Stream

A 4.3 km section of Waters Creek in LumpkinCounty. Georgia. was managed for trophy trout with supplemental feeding under restrictive regulations. including 22 inch minimum size. Complete creel data for 3 years reveal a mean daily pressure of 31.9 anglers, and an annual mean catch rate of 0.18-0.24 fish/hr. Total anglers decreased 13.5% and total hours increased 18.0% 1972-1973. Trip length increased from 3.1 to 4.7 he 1972-1974. An analysis of variance of catch rate means provided evidence of differences in catch rates with total daily effort. The mean catch rate of 0.51 fish/ hr at 26-50 hr daily effort was significantly higher than catch rates at higher pressure. The cumulative frequency distribution of trophy catch rates was influenced by initial stockings. The mean standing crop (44.7 kg/hal between feeding points and high density of sub-legal fish at feeding points indicate that natural recruitment may sustain the fishery. The program cost is comparable to cost of management of a put-and-take stream under equal pressure.

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