Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Sherry L. Harrel

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the population distribution and demographics of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in Silver Creek, Madison Co, KY. The stream was electro-shocked at 19 locations during the Fall of 2011 and Spring of 2012. At each stream site width (m), depth (m), flow (m/s), and percentage of substrate type pool, riffle, run was recorded across transects as the microhabitat. Kentucky Division of Water's rapid habitat assessment was used to assess the habitat within the stream and the riparian vegetation surrounding the stream. The majority of smallmouth bass collected in Silver Creek were collected in runs and heads of riffles. In addition a large number were collected from under large rocks with deep ledges. Stepwise regression analysis indicated the presence of gravel and vegetation accounted for 43.4% (p<0.05) and 12.6% (p<0.05) of the variation in catch per unit effort (CPUE) of smallmouth bass among all sites. A total of 251 smallmouth bass were collected and 54.4% were age 0. Weights of smallmouth bass caught from Silver Creek followed the relative weight curve for smallmouth bass of specific lengths caught from other streams in the region. Silver Creek was among the top streams of its size in smallmouth bass abundance in Kentucky according to data from this study and information collected by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR).

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