Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Timothy Moddle

Second Advisor

Charles G. Scalet


Three fish-stocking methods were evaluated to determine the effects of stocking density and chronology on largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) survival, growth, and reproductive success during 1983-1985. Two densities of split-stocking largemouth bass with bluegills were compared to the simultaneous introduction of both species. First-year largemouth bass survival was low and variable among treatments. Survival of largemouth bass ranged from 0-85% and averaged 25% among treatments. Bluegill survival, for the first and second years combined, ranged from 0-60% and averaged 22% among two split-stocking treatments. Thirty-six percent of study ponds experienced at least partial winterkill during the study. First-year largemouth bass growth averaged 165 mm in the high-density split, 183 mm in the low-density split, and 176 mm in the simultaneous-stocking treatments. Growth of largemouth bass in the second year was 283 and 285 mm for the high and low-density split stockings, respectively, and 271 mm in the simultaneous-stocking treatment. Means were not significantly (P>.05) different between treatments either year. Bluegill mean length was not significantly (P) .05) different among split-stocking treatments for three year-classes. Second-year growth in two split treatments averaged 121 mm while the simultaneous stocking averaged 77mm. Relative Weights of adult largemouth bass and bluegills were not significantly (P) .05) different between treatments. Spawning of age-I largemouth bass occurred in only one study pond, a high-density, split-stocked pond. Bluegill and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction was documented in the majority of split-stocking treatment ponds in 1984 and 1985. No bluegill reproduction was reported in the simultaneous-stocking treatment in 1985. Bluegill fry abundance was similar for split-stocking treatments during both years, 73 and 70 fish-seine haul in the high-density split, and 47 and 45 fish-seine haul in the low-density, split-stocking treatments. Age-I bluegill abundance in 1985 averaged 10 fish-seine haul in the high-density split and 14 fish/seine haul in the low-density, split-stocking treatments. Age-0 and 1 bluegills, that were spawned in the ponds, were accessible to initially-stocked bluegills were accessible in the simultaneous-stocking treatment. Fathead minnow abundance between 1984 and 1985 declined from 236 to 42 fish/seine haul in the high-density split and 161 to 30 fish/seine haul in the low-density, split-stocking treatments, but means were not significantly (P>.05) different by year. The split-stocking method may be acceptable in South Dakota, but only with supplemental stocking of largemouth bass.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Largemouth bass
Fish stocking -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 31-38)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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