Over-winter Movements of Adult Largemouth Bass in a North Carolina Reservoir

Radio-telemetry was used to evaluate the movements of 11 adult largemouth bass {Micropterus salmoides) from November 1995 through May 1996. A significant offshore migration occurred during the day throughout much of the winter. Seasonally, fish shifted offshore during cold water temperatures; a significant inverse correlation existed between distance offshore and water temperature. During high water levels some fish moved inshore to use inundated terrestrial habitat, even at water temperatures as low as 6 C. Although fish tended to move less during colder weather, most fish remained active throughout the study; average movement between weekly tracking sessions was 298 m during the winter (17 Dec-20 Mar). Ten of 11 fish exhibited distinct home ranges, while 1 fish exhibited inter-embayment mobility and no home range. Four fish redistributed themselves to new home ranges in late fall, but returned to their prior home ranges by early spring. Permanent redistribution during the over-winter period was limited; dispersal occurred in only 1 fish

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14311