The instream flow needs of four sport fishes (rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri, channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus, smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieui, and white crappie Pomoxis annularis) were evaluated in the tailwater below Green River Lake, Kentucky. The Newcombe method, a simple procedure developed in British Columbia that is based on the distribution of water depths and velocities at various flows, was used to predict usable habitat at seven flows. Predicted usable habitat was two to six times greater for rainbow trout than for any of the other species at all flows. Angler harvest corresponded to the predicted abundance for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass, but the catch of channel catfish and white crappies was seasonally greater than expected. The presence of the dam and reservoir apparently disrupted the normal movement and feeding patterns of these species and periodically overrode the relation between usable habitat and abundance assumed in the Newcombe method. The year-round minimum flow of 4.6 m 3/s recommended for the tailwater would generally increase the amount of habitat available in the tailwater from April through October, and the minimum flow of 2.4 m3/s recommended for periods of drought would allow the maintenance of a trout fishery.
Additional Publication Details
Minimum tailwater flows in relation to habitat suitability and sport-fish harvest