Seasonal Movement and Distribution of Smallmouth Bass in a Virginia Impoundment

We described seasonal movements of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in Lake Moomaw, a 1,024-ha western Virginia impoundment, using ultrasonic telemetry in combination with a mark-recapture tagging study. Documentation of lake sections occupied over the course of a 2-year period was used to assess the extent and magnitude of spring migrations of bass to the headwaters of the reservoir. Fish using the headwaters during the spring were drawn mainly from adjacent areas within 9 km of the headwaters, although fish from as far away as the dam were recovered in the headwater area. Use of the headwaters by smallmouth bass from the lake was estimated at less than 20% of the adult population during the spawning season. Redistribution information was also collected and showed that smallmouth bass returned to areas previously occupied prior to spawning. Spawning site fidelity was determined from 6 smallmouth bass tracked over 2 consecutive years; 3 of these fish utilized the same sites during both spawning seasons.

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ID
6219