Evaluation of 3 Small-scale, Put-and-take Rainbow Trout Fisheries in Tennessee

Percent return, survival, and harvest rates of stocked rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were evaluated in 3 Tennessee streams from 1991 through 1994. Harvestable-size trout were stocked 2-4 times during spring at densities of 29-188/km. Subharvestable (fingerling) trout were stocked only during fall at densities of 69-286/km. Mean annual returns ranged from 13% to 29% over the 4 years of the study and averaged 23% for all 3 streams. Returns for fall-stocked trout were negligible. Survival of spring-stocked (March-May) trout was low, ranging from 2% to 7% by July of each year. Similarly, survival of fall-stocked trout was also low and ranged from 1% to 3% by the following March. No significant relationship (P > 0.05) was detected between stocking densities and mean harvest rates or percent returns of individual stockings. Thus, altering stocking densities and periods did not achieve a greater return to the angler in these streams.

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