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Survival, Distribution and Relative Predation of Naturally-produced Rainbow Trout in the Deerfield Reservoir system


July 2014 - December 2015


Rainbow trout are an important sport fish species in the Black Hills of South Dakota. While primarily stocked into lakes and streams to provide put-and-take fisheries, reproduction and subsequent recruitment into the adult population has been observed in two locations in the Black Hills. In one of those locations, Deerfield Reservoir, naturally reproduced rainbow trout were estimated to make up around 25% of the total population. Although rainbow trout are recruiting into the Deerfield Reservoir population, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the spawning habitats utilized by rainbow trout in the system, as well as the survival and potential consumption of naturally reproduced fish. Given the reproduction and recruitment observed in Deerfield Reservoir, it would be desirable to managers to remove stockings and manage the fishery for wild rainbow trout. In order to fill in the existing knowledge gaps and provide managers with a greater comprehension of this unique rainbow trout fishery, our study will focus on achieving a better understanding of the production, survival, and distribution of naturally produced rainbow trout, as well as the diet composition of piscivorous fishes and potential predation on rainbow trout in Deerfield Reservoir.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4246



Funding Agencies

  • Game, Fish & Parks


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey