Movements of Walleyes in Claytor Lake and the Upper New River, Virginia, Indicate Distinct Lake and River Populations

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Блэксбург, Virginia, United States
North American Journal of Fisheries Management (Impact Factor: 0.95). 11/2005; 25(4):1448-1455. DOI: 10.1577/M05-019.1


Inference that more than one genetic stock of walleyes Sander vitreus was present in Claytor Lake, Virginia, and its main influent, the New River, raised questions concerning the spawning movements, locations of spawning grounds, and home range of resident stocks. We conducted a radiotelemetry study of 52 walleyes in Claytor Lake and the upper New River over a period of 2 years. Our findings support the hypothesis that two populations coexist within the system, exhibiting different home ranges, spawning movements, and spawning grounds, even though there is no physical barrier to movement between the spatially disjunct populations. Walleyes living within Claytor Lake mostly spawn at the first riffle area above the reservoir, whereas those living in the New River mostly spawn at two riffle areas well upstream. Coexistence of distinct populations in the system justifies different management strategies. Management of the walleye population in Claytor Lake should focus on increasing the exploitation of the nonindigenous lake stock. Management of the upper New River walleye population should focus on conservation of the unique river stock through supportive breeding, strict harvest regulations, or both.

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    • "Movement was greatest for both species during spring months, which has been commonly observed in other riverine Micropterus spp., such as Shoal Bass (Stormer and Maceina 2009;Goclowski et al. 2013;Sammons and Earley 2015, this volume), Guadalupe Bass M. treculii (Perkin et al. 2010), and Smallmouth Bass (Todd and Rabeni 1989). Spring movements are usually considered to be associated with spawning for most fish (Todd and Rabeni 1989;Pegg et al. 1997;Snedden et al. 1999;Palmer et al. 2005;Goclowski et al. 2013), which is consistent with our findings that both Alabama Bass and Redeye Bass in the Tallapoosa River exhibited high movement in early April and subsequently returned to the general area they occupied previously by the end of May. The timing of this high movement was 1–2 months earlier than spawning times ofTable 6. Number (N) and percent distribution of Alabama Bass and Redeye Bass locations associated with various cover categories across four flow periods in three seasons (WIN = winter, SPR = spring, and SUM = summer) in the Tallapoosa River, Alabama. "
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the movement and habitat use of Alabama Bass Micropterus henshalli and Redeye Bass M. coosae, especially in response to altered flow regimes resulting from hydropeaking operations. Therefore, 22 Alabama Bass and 20 Redeye Bass were implanted with radio tags and tracked every 3 weeks for 37 weeks from December 2010 to September 2011 to describe seasonal patterns in movement and habitat use in the Tallapoosa River, Alabama, below R. L. Harris Dam. Additionally, fish of each species were tracked weekly every 2 h over the course of 10 h to assess the effects of altered flows on movement and habitat use by the two species during different periods of the hydrograph (base, rising, peak, and falling flows). Movement of both species was strongly associated with season, with the highest movement in the spring. Total home range (95%) and core areas (50%) of both species were similar, but Redeye Bass total home range was inversely related to fish size. Alabama Bass were typically found in fine-sediment substrates and increasingly used more woody debris for cover from winter to summer, whereas Redeye Bass were typically found in rocky substrate and only used woody debris in summer. Neither Alabama Bass nor Redeye Bass daily movement appeared to be affected by the altered flow; however, Alabama Bass were found closer to shore in vegetated or woody debris habitat during high flows in spring and summer. In contrast, Redeye Bass showed little lateral movement in the river or change in habitat use in response to higher flows in most seasons but, similar to Alabama Bass, were found in shoreline vegetated habitats more often during high flows in spring. These shifts in habitat during different flows should be further investigated to evaluate possible life-history strategies.
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    • "The predisposition of individuals to return to natal waters for reproduction has been widely described in many fishes and has important consequences at the individual and population levels (Leggett, 1977; Miller et al., 2001; Palmer et al., 2005). The ability of individuals to migrate to a distinct spawning area or to reside in a particular region often will result in reproductive isolation among populations (Leggett, 1977). "
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    ABSTRACT: Natal philopatry in lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) has been hypothesized to be an important factor that has lead to genetically distinct Great Lakes populations. Due to declining abundance, population extirpation, and restricted distribution, hatchery supplementation is being used to augment natural recruitment and to reestablish populations. If hatchery-reared lake sturgeon are more likely to stray than naturally produced individuals, as documented in other well-studied species, outbreeding could potentially jeopardize beneficial site-specific phenotypic and genotypic adaptations. From 1983 to 1994, lake sturgeon propagated using eggs taken from Lake Winnebago adults (Lake Michigan basin) were released in the St. Louis River estuary in western Lake Superior. Our objective was to determine whether these introduced individuals have strayed into annual spawning runs in the Sturgeon River, Michigan. Additionally, we estimated a natural migration rate between the Sturgeon River and Bad River, Wisconsin populations. Presumed primiparous lake sturgeon sampled during Sturgeon River spawning runs from 2003 to 2008 were genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci. Genotypic baselines established for the Sturgeon River (n = 101), Bad River (n = 40), and Lake Winnebago river system (n = 73) revealed a relatively high level of genetic divergence among populations (mean FST = 0.103; mean RST = 0.124). Likelihood-based assignment tests indicated no straying of stocked Lake Winnebago strain lake sturgeon from the St. Louis River into the Sturgeon River spawning population. One presumed primiparous Sturgeon River individual likely originated from the Bad River population. Four firstgeneration migrants were detected in the Sturgeon River baseline, indicating an estimated 3.5% natural migration rate for the system.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Journal of Great Lakes Research
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