Movements and Habitat Selection of Striped Bass in the Santee-Cooper Reservoirs

Radiotelemetry which employed temperature-sensitive transmitters was used to monitor spring movement and summer habitat selection of 19 adult striped bass (Marone saxatilis) in the Santee-Cooper reservoirs, South Carolina. Nine fish were followed for 63 days during the late spring and summer 1985. Of the 61 recorded locations, 9 were fish which had utilized a thermal refuge. Mean water column temperature (28.1 0 C) and average thermal selection (27.80 C) did not differ significantly in observations where fish did not use thermal refuges. Average water column temperature was 29.00 C when fish were observed using refuge sites. Refuge sites averaged 0.340 C cooler than the recorded bottom temperature. Ten fish were monitored during the late winter and spring 1986 and located on 74 occasions. Striped bass exhibited a spring migration out of the reservoirs and into upstream areas. Mean water temperature was 13.80 C at the time of upstream migration and 18.90 C when the fish returned to the deep water near Pinopolis Dam on Lake Moultrie. Fish averaged 0.76 km net movement per day during January, February, and March. Daily net movements averaged 2.9 km from April until mid-May and then decreased to 0.43 km from mid-May through June. Striped bass also demonstrated a preference for distribution on or adjacent to the reservoir's river channel. Striped bass in the reservoirs averaged only 0.43 km from the channel.

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ID
28574