Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Distribution, population number, growth rate, and reproductive activities of walleyes (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) were studied to evaluate the potential of the Big Stone Power Plant cooling reservoir as a source of walleye brood stock. In addition, dynamics and distribution of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and orangespotted sunfish (L. humilis) were examined. Walleye grew well, reaching a weighted mean total length of 271 mm at formation of annulus I. Survival of walleye was poor, with population estimates of 41 and 43 fish in 1984 and 1985, respectively. Low sample size precluded analysis of distribution, but no consistent preference for an area of the reservoir was evident during spring and summer. Reproductive activity was limited. No eggs were collected with mesh samplers on the rip-rap, though one female captured in April appeared to be spent. Bluegill populations dominated the littoral fish community, comprising greater than 97% of the total fish population in both 1984 and 1985, and bluegill abundance was significantly (P< 0.01) greater than that reported by Wahl (1980). The bluegill population increased by approximately 50 % from 1984 to 1985, while standing stock increased from 15.6 kg/hectare to 40.5 kg/hectare. Bluegill were distributed primarily in the mixing and intake areas of the reservoir during May and June of 1984 and 1985. Mean bluegill back-calculated total lengths (calculated in 1984) were similar to that reported in most systems, while those calculated in 1985 exceeded growth in most systems. Length-frequency analysis indicated low survival of bluegill. Orangespotted sunfish population levels were consistent from 1984 to 1985, and relative abundance was significantly (P <0.01) less than that reported by Wahl (1980). Standing stock was 0.3 kg/hectare in both 1984 and 1985. Orangespotted sunfish distribution varied from 1984 to 1985, with no apparent relationship to temperature. Catch rates of bluegill and orangespotted sunfish were significantly (P < 0.01) greater in trap nets set angled close to shore than in trap nets set perpendicular to shore in deep water.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fishes -- Effect of temperature on -- South Dakota
Fishes -- Effect of dams on -- South Dakota
Fishes -- Habitat -- South Dakota
Cooling ponds


Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-75)



Number of Pages