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Report: Sportfish Population Dynamics In An Intensively Managed River System

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A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment Of The Requirements For The Degree Of Master Of Science.

Author:  Chad Eric Wilkinson

Date Published:  Jun 2009

Report ID:  17424

Audience:  Government and Public

The Elk River valley is intensively utilized by various resource industries including a recreational fishery that predominates in the river section between Sparwood and Elko. Most angling comes from fly-fishers in drift boats who mainly target westslope cutthroat trout (WCT) Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi in the summer, but also secondarily catch bull trout (BT) Salvelinus confluentus. Non-native rainbow trout (RB) Oncorhynchus mykiss and Eastern brook trout (EB) Salvelinus fontinalis have also been introduced to the system. The rivers trout and char populations have never been directly examined in response to fishing regulations. In 2006 and 2007, I used ecological survey methods to determine WCT growth, mortality, and abundance in a series of catch-and-release and catch-and-keep regulation zones of the lower mainstem Elk River. I assessed the angling effort response to WCT and BT densities in the lower mainstem and systematically determined the relative recruitment capability of the two drainage basins in the tributary system.

Report Type
  Fish and Aquatic Habitat Information
  Fish Species - Brook Trout - Salvelinus fontinalis
  Fish Species - Bull Trout - Salvelinus confluentus
  Fish Species - Westslope Cutthroat Trout - O. clarki lewisi
  Region - Kootenay
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Angler Use
  Watershed Groups - 349 - Upper Kootenay

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