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Behavior of trophy brown trout in an eastern Tennessee reserovir system

A radio-tagged brown trout being released into the South Fork of the Holston River


September 2009 - December 2011


Adult brown trout were radio-tracked in an east Tennessee reservoir (Boone Lake) and its headwater rivers to estimate their survival and movements. Annual mortality was fairly high (38%) and was probably influenced by bouts of high water temperatures in late spring and early summer and some catch-and-release mortality. Tagged fish in both headwater rivers exhibited strong site fidelity and most resided in the same pool-riffle sequence except during fall 2010, when most fish undertook spawning migrations. Only two fish were ever located in the main basin of Boone Lake and then for relatively brief periods. Some tagged brown trout occupied the reaches on both rivers governed by special regulations to reduce harvest or protect spawning fish.

Research Products and Activities


  • Mork, M. 2011. Survival and movements of large brown trout in a regulated river systems in east Tennessee. MS Thesis, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville. 76 pages.


  • Mork, M.D., and P.W. Bettoli. 2011. Behavior and thermal ecology of adult brown trout in Boone Lake and its headwater rivers. Annual meeting of the Tennessee chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Montgomery Bell State Park, TN.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • Phillip BettoliPrincipal Investigator
  • Matt MorkStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Frank Fiss


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey