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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Monday, October 17 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Fisheries. Lake Pontchartrain Acoustic Telemetry Project: A Focus on Behavior of Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) and Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) Following the Opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway

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AUTHORS: Ashley Ferguson, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Craig Gothreaux, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ABSTRACT: The Bonnet Carré spillway flood control structure was opened on January 10, 2016 for 22 days, redirecting freshwater from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain. The ongoing acoustic telemetry project within Lake Pontchartrain allowed biologists the unique opportunity to observe fish movements in response to the diverted river water. In 2012, 90 acoustic receivers were deployed throughout the lake to study the movement patterns and habitat use of fishes. A total of 244 adult spotted seatrout Cynoscion nebulosus, 64 adult red drum Sciaenops ocellatus, and 18 juvenile bullsharks Carcharhinus leucas have been cooperatively tagged with acoustic transmitters since project initiation. At the time of the spillway opening, 26 spotted seatrout and 28 red drum with active tags were present in Lake Pontchartrain. Data from receivers were downloaded after the spillway closed and were uploaded and integrated onto the department’s telemetry visualization website (louisianafisheries.net/telemetry/). Representative fish locations were overlaid with MODIS satellite images to observe movement in relation to the sediment plume. Additionally, these data were overlaid with salinity maps, which display salinity gradients in the lake before, during, and after the spillway opening. Spotted seatrout and red drum did show an avoidance response to the river water, moving away from the plume and toward the north east portion of the lake. Tagged spotted seatrout and red drum returned to the center of the lake after the spillway was closed. Results from this study provide insight to the poorly understood behavior of fishes in response to large sediment-loaded freshwater inputs.

Monday October 17, 2016 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Riverview A

Attendees (7)