Influence of drought conditions on brown trout biomass and size structure in the Black Hills, South Dakota

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

We evaluated the influence of drought conditions on the biomass of brown trout Salmo trutta in Spearfish Creek, upper Rapid Creek, and lower Rapid Creek in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. Stream discharge, mean summer water temperature, the biomass of juvenile and adult brown trout, and brown trout size structure were compared between two time periods: early (2000–2002) and late drought (2005–2007). Mean summer water temperatures were similar between the early- and late-drought periods in Spearfish Creek (12.4°C versus 11.5°C), lower Rapid Creek (19.2°C versus 19.3°C), and upper Rapid Creek (9.8°C in both periods). In contrast, mean annual discharge differed significantly between the two time periods in Spearfish Creek (1.95 versus 1.50 m3/s), lower Rapid Creek (2.01 versus 0.94 m3/s), and upper Rapid Creek (1.41 versus 0.84 m3/s). The mean biomass of adult brown trout in all three stream sections was significantly higher in the early-drought than in the late-drought period (238 versus 69 kg/ha in Spearfish Creek, 272 versus 91 kg/ha in lower Rapid Creek, and 159 versus 32 kg/ha in upper Rapid Creek). The biomass of juvenile brown trout was similar (43 versus 23 kg/ha) in Spearfish Creek in the two periods, declined from 136 to 45 kg/ha in lower Rapid Creek, and increased from 14 to 73 kg/ha in upper Rapid Creek. Size structure did not differ between the early- and late-drought periods in lower Rapid and Spearfish creeks, but it did in upper Rapid Creek. In addition to drought conditions, factors such as angler harvest, fish movements, and the nuisance algal species Didymosphenia geminata are discussed as possible contributors to the observed changes in brown trout biomass and size structure in Black Hills streams.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Influence of drought conditions on brown trout biomass and size structure in the Black Hills, South Dakota
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1577/M09-199.1
Volume 30
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 8 p.
First page 791
Last page 798
Country United States
State South Dakota
Other Geospatial Black Hills
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N