Larval Sport Fish Drift In The New River

Abundance of larval sport fishes in the New River, at Glen Lyn, VA, was calculated from catch, volume of water sampled through drift nets, and daily river discharge for the period June through August 1976. The estimates of larval sport fish drift included 2,410,000 channel catfish (lctalurus punctatus), 162,000 flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), 106,000 rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris), 46,900 smallmouth bss (Micropterus do10mieu), and 125,000 spotted bass (M. punctulatus). The seasonal distribution and occurrence of larvae were comparable to literature reports. Drift sampling may be an effective technique for estimating the absolute abundance of fish at an early developmental stage. These estimates may give fisheries managers the lead time necessary for implementation of effective management strategies in large river systems where it is difficult to sample later life stages quantitatively.

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