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Tuesday, October 18 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Fisheries. Restoration Suitability Index for Southern Appalachian Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the Cherokee National Forest

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AUTHORS: Caylor Romines, University of Tennessee; Dr. Brian Alford, University of Tennessee

ABSTRACT: Over the course of the last century, Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) have been reduced in high elevation streams throughout the Southern Appalachian Mountains. These fish are being affected by many anthropogenic factors, including warming temperature in the downstream portion of watersheds and acid deposition in the headwaters of the streams. These impacts will restrict the distribution of Brook Trout across the longitudinal gradient of the stream. Overall, the Southern Appalachians contain some 18,000 km of coldwater streams with the potential for supporting salmonid populations. Wild trout inhabit about 9,660 km of these streams and native Brook Trout are found in approximately 2,580 km. In order to develop a restoration suitability index, thirty trout streams were randomly selected across the north zone of the Cherokee National Forest. Each of these streams will be evaluated by estimating Brook Trout abundance, examining instream habitat characteristics and riparian forest structure. Habitat characteristics will be modeled against Brook Trout abundance to determine the variables that are most significant to a Brook Trout restoration suitability index. If validated, then models of restoration suitability will provide state and federal agencies in the Southern Appalachians a valuable guide towards selecting locations for Brook Trout restoration projects. This model will also work as a guide to determine the particular instream and forest habitat characteristics that should be improved to successfully restore Brook Trout within stream reaches.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Riverview A

Attendees (10)