Habitat use and movement patterns by adult saugers from fall to summer in an unimpounded small-river system
habitat, adult, radio telemetry, telemetry, pool, upstream, spawning, fish passage, watershed
Journal or Book Title
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
The Little Wind River drainage in Wyoming is a relatively small unimpounded river system inhabited by native saugers (Sander canadensis). Radio telemetry was used to assess habitat use and movement patterns by adult saugers in the river system from fall through early summer. Fifty-four adult saugers were captured during fall 2004, surgically implanted with radio transmitters, and tracked through mid-July 2005. Tagged saugers selected large and deep pools.Such pools were abundant throughout the Little Wind River system and led to saugers being widely dispersed from fall to early spring. During fall, winter, and early spring, tagged saugers remained sedentary and moved short distances among pools in close proximity to each other.Longer movements by tagged saugers occurred from mid-spring to early summer, and were associated with both upstream and downstream movements to and from two river segments believed to be used for spawning. During early summer, most saugers returned to locations where they had been tagged the previous fall and had spent the winter. Our results provide evidence that preservation of the sauger fishery in the Wind River system will depend on maintaining fish passage throughout the portion of the watershed inhabited by saugers and preserving natural fluvial processes that maintain large and deep pools.