The feasibility of a consumptive wild trout sport fishery on the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hh63sz04f

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  • The objective of this study was to determine whether wild populations of trout in the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River can support a catch rate of 0.3-0.5 trout per hour at current levels of effort and to predict how different size and bag limits would alter the number and ages of trout harvested. Angler use of the sport fishery in 1976 was estimated to be 2,730 angler days and 5,660 angler hours. The season average catch rate was 0.49 trout per hour. The number of trout counted in September 1975 and 1976 suggested that the trout populations had not declined between those two years. Rainbow trout are recruited to the fishery at about age II and 50% of the females are mature at age IV. Cutthroat trout are recruited to the fishery at about age III and 86% of the females are mature at that same age. Distribution of harvest among anglers and age specific lengths of native trout are used to demonstrate that size restrictions are the most effective means of selectively limiting trout harvest. The North Fork can continue to support a consumptive sport fishery with a catch rate of between 0.3 and 0.5 trout per hour at present levels of effort under the following assumptions: (1) angler use and harvest was similar in 1975 and 1976, (2) natural mortality was similar in both years, and (3) trout counts were not biased by unequal movement of fish into study pools in the second year.
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