Characteristics Of Sport Fishing Activity In Three Warm Water Discharges

Creel surveys were conducted at TVA's Gallatin, Kingston, and John Sevier Steam Plant discharge basins from March 1975 through May 1976. The highest period of angler use at all plants occurred between April and June. Peak harvest and pressure in the 3 discharge basins were significantly related, and high periods usually occurred later in the year than has been reported from other areas. At least 18 species were found in the combined creel from the 3 plants, and species diversity was greatest during the warm months. Three species, channel catfish (lctalurus punctatus), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), and white bass (Morone chrysops), comprised over 50% of the combined creel. Angler harvest remained uncommonly high from March through August with lowest levels observed in the winter months. The overall angler catch per hour (c/h) was 0.5 fish while the highest monthly c/h recorded was 2.3 at John Sevier in May 1975. Comparisons of angler and electrofishing catches showed similar seasonal patterns. It seemed that angler c/h reflected seasonal changes in the sport fish population, and it was concluded that the fishery could sustain a significant increase in pressure and harvest at certain times of the year.

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