Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


The distribution, temperature selection, and gonadal development of fishes in the Big Stone Power Plant cooling reservoir were examined from July 1982 through July 1983. A total of 46.8% of the fishes captured during this study were from the discharge area, while 31.8% and 21.4% of the fish occurred in the mixing and intake areas, respectively. The mean water temperature occupied by common carp (Cyprinus carpio) ranged from 7.5 C in February to 31.2 C in August. Black bullheads (Ictalurus melas) were generally benthic and captured in the cooler water. The mean water temperature occupied by black bullheads ranged from 7.5 C in April to 29.6 C in July 1982. Of all the fish species captured, yellow perch (Perca flavescens) tended to inhabit the coolest water available. The mean water temperature occupied by yellow perch ranged from 4.5 C in February to 29.4 C in August. The mean water temperature occupied by walleyes (STizostedion vitreum vitreum) ranged from 13.4 C in February to 30.4 C in August; walleyes inhabited the discharge area during most of the year. A total of 13 other fish species were collected but not in sufficient numbers for examination of their distributions using temperature. Common carp had two distinct spawning periods, the first occurring in May and the second in August. Black bullheads spawned during June and July, similar to periods reported in other South Dakota reservoirs. Yellow perch spawned in late April. The peak gonosomatic index for male bluegills (Lipomis macrochirus) coincided with the peak for females in May. Bluegills spawned throughout the summer period. Water temperature in the Big Stone Power Plant cooling reservoir did not inhibit ova maturation in any of the fish species examined.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fishes -- South Dakota -- Physiology
Fishes -- South Dakota -- Reproduction


Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-59)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only