Movement of saugers in the lower Tennessee River determined by radio telemetry, and implications for management

Publication Date



radio telemetry, telemetry, spawning, habitat, Recruitment, upstream, downstream migration, migration

Journal or Book Title

North American Journal of Fisheries Management


Since 1979, abundances of sauger (Stizostedion canadense) have declined in theTennessee River system. Reasons for this decline may include overharvest, loss of spawninghabitat, and low recruitment due to extreme flows. The purpose of this study was to investigatethe movements of saugers following winter concentration below Pickwick Dam, Tennessee.Thirty-seven saugers were implanted with radio transmitters directly below Pickwick Dam andwere tracked between December 1992 and June 1993. Four saugers moved upstream throughthe locks at Pickwick Dam: the remaining fish stayed within the first 30 km of the tailwaterthroughout the spawning season. Three areas below Pickwick Dam were identified as possibleMarch prespawn staging sites. After April 1, saugers in the tailwater area began a rapiddownstream migration to the main basin of Kentucky Lake. Some fish moved downstream morethan 200 km in less than 10 d in this semiclosed system. Movements encompassed four states(Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama) along the Tennessee River system,underscoring the need for interjurisdictional management.





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