Cooperative Research Units
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Post-stocking survival of Rainbow Trout in Black Hills Reservoirs


July 2018 - December 2020


Harvest rate of stocked Rainbow Trout in small lakes and reservoirs (<40 acres) of the Black Hills, South Dakota is often below management objectives, raising concerns about the costs (trout production) and benefits (angler use) of the Rainbow Trout stocking program. To improve the cost/benefit of the Rainbow Trout stocking program, a better understanding is needed of factors affecting survival of post-stocked trout. The influence of stocking density, food availability, water quality and catch-and-release fishing on survival of stocked Rainbow Trout are poorly understood. Low survivorship of stocked trout may be linked to physiological and(or) behavioral attributes of hatchery-reared trout when stocked into natural environments. To better understand the reasons for poor return rates to anglers, the goals of this study are to evaluate factors affecting mortality of stocked Rainbow Trout in Black Hills lakes and make recommendations that enhance South Dakota’s put-and-take trout stocking program. The project is a collaboration with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, & Parks.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 7

Phd Students: 1

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 18

Scientific Publications: 55

Presentations: 119



Funding Agencies

  • South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks


South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
  2. South Dakota State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute