August 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Phillips Presents ‘Seasonal Movements of the Sandstone Falls Population of Lower New River Walleye’

Biological Sciences graduate student Taylor Phillips presented a paper on”Seasonal Movements of the Sandstone Falls Population of Lower New River  Walleye” at the 2014 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists July 30 to Aug. 4 in Chattanooga, TN.

Her co-author was Dr. Matthew White, Professor of Biological Sciences at Ohio University.

Abstract: An ultrasonic telemetry and habitat use study of 20 walleye was conducted on the lower New River in West Virginia to determine seasonal movement, spawning locations, and habitat use. There are two distinct genetic stocks of walleye within this section of river, from Sandstone falls to Hawks Nest. Representatives from each stock were tracked with the majority consisting of the Eastern Highlands stock. 63% of tagged walleye returned to the initial tagging location/spawning grounds while other 37% were not located except after the initial tagging. Both walleye stocks used the same spawning grounds, traveled considerable distances downstream post-spawn, and showed no significant
differences in their overall movement. Although there were differences among fish, no significant difference between males and females or between the two genetic stocks was observed. Both walleye stocks preferred habitat with cobble/boulder substrate during spawning periods and post-spawn. There was no difference in habitat choice between males and females.

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