Fishery Viability of a Wild Brown Trout Population in the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta, Georgia

Fisheries Outstanding Technical Paper

Brown trout (Salmo trutta) were first introduced as part of a put-and-take fishery in the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam in the 1960s. Wild, young-of-year (YOY) brown trout were observed in the river in the 1990s and annually in subsequent years. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources implemented a stocking moratorium on brown trout between Buford Dam and Morgan Falls Dam beginning in 2005 and this study evaluated existing population monitoring data before and after implementation of the moratorium to better understand the potential of a completely wild brown trout fishery. Electrofishing catch per unit effort for adult brown trout did not decrease following the moratorium, YOY brown trout were observed in every year of the survey, and population size structure did not appear to shift. Brown trout were the most common trout species both before and after implementation of the moratorium. Angler catch rates for brown trout did not decline after implementation of the moratorium. These results demonstrated that a viable fishery in the Chattahoochee River could be supported wholly by wild brown trout.

Starting page
131
Ending page
135
ID
77201