Effects of Hydrology on Black Bass Reproductive Success in Four Southeastern Reservoirs

We surveyed the extent and availability of fisheries data from major (>200 ha) impoundments in 2 southeastern U. S. drainage basins, the Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa, both located primarily in the states of Georgia and Alabama. Data were used to generate regression models relating fish reproductive success to hydrologic variables. Results were used to define relationships between reservoir operations and abundance of young fishes. Of the 25 major mainstream and storage reservoirs in the 2 systems, 4 had sufficient historical data for fisheries and hydrologic variables to allow statistical analyses. Species of concern were black bass (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides and spotted bass, M. punctulatus), as they were abundant in both systems and have served as indicator species in similar studies in other basins. Regression models for predicting black bass abundance were statistically significant in 12 of 17 possible cases and included seasonal surface area, storage volume, and ratio of inflow to release volume as significant variables.

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