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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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Tuesday, October 18 • 8:40am - 9:00am
Fisheries. Largemouth Bass Supplemental Stocking Success on a Coastal River in Virginia

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AUTHORS: Aaron Bunch, Bob Greenlee, John Odenkirk - Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

ABSTRACT: Coastal rivers can support quality largemouth bass fishing and tournaments, but recruitment failure and habitat availability can influence population size and structure because of the dynamic nature of these systems. Management actions, i.e., stocking, can improve populations in closed systems (e.g., lakes and ponds) in poor recruitment years, but stocking effectiveness in a coastal river system is often questioned and evaluations are few. Oxytetracycline (OTC) marked F1 intergrade (Micropterus salmoides floridanus X M. s. salmoides) fingerling largemouth bass were stocked at a density of 62 fish/ha in the tidal Chickahominy River and tributaries in spring of 2006 and 2007. Stocking success was evaluated using: 1) angler creel surveys, 2) standardized long-term monitoring surveys, and 3) otolith collections to evaluate growth and percent contribution of stocked fish. Angler catch rates from creel surveys indicated drastically improved fishing success peaking in 2010. Length-at-age data revealed that a large proportion of largemouth bass ages 3–4 were at or above the preferred size (>38 cm). The stable and additive contribution of stocked fish to these age classes during peak angler catch rates indicates a direct benefit to anglers. Otolith sampling in 2015 revealed stocked origin fish (8 year old) remain in the system. Stocking enhanced the bass fishery in this coastal system; however, spatiotemporal habitat dynamics (both physical and chemical) may limit success in other systems. Understanding the mechanisms leading to success in some systems and failure in others is an important next step.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 8:40am - 9:00am
Riverview A

Attendees (7)