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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

David W. Willis


In 1987, minimum length limits of 380 mm (total length) and 300 mm were imposed on largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides in Lake Alvin and Lake Yankton, South Dakota. No largemouth bass longer than 350 mm were collected during pre-regulation electrofishing samples conducted on Lake Alvin. After imposition of the length limit, the quality of the largemouth bass population increased. In 1988 and 1989 electrofishing samples, largemouth bass 380-mm and longer in Lake Alvin composed 19% and 14%, respectively, of the number of fish that were at least 200 mm in length. Largemouth bass attained 320 mm or more in length by age-3, slightly faster growth than for pre-regulation samples. A random-stratified creel survey was undertaken at Lake Alvin during 1989; anglers harvested an estimated 15 largemouth bass/hectare that exceeded 380 mm. Thus, the 380-mm length limit was a successful tool for management of largemouth bass in Lake Alvin. In pre-regulation, 1986 electrofishing samples taken from Lake Yankton, largemouth bass longer than 300 mm and 380 mm comprised 58% and 5%, respectively, of the fish that were at least 200 mm in length. The percentage of largemouth bass longer than 300 mm and 380 mm in a 1989 sample were 66 and 37, respectively, for fish that were at least 200 mm in length. However, these increases may be attributed to the natural movement of year-classes through the length frequency, rather than protection by the length limit. In 1989, a 300- to 380-mm slot length limit was imposed on largemouth bass in Murdo Lake, a 18. 2-hectare public impoundment. The percentage of largemouth bass that were longer than 200 mm and also within the protected length range (300-380 mm) increased from 10% in 1988 to 16% in 1990. A random-stratified creel survey indicated that 95% and 85% of largemouth bass less than 300 mm long caught by anglers were harvested in 1989 and 1990, respectively. Population estimates were made for 200-mm and longer largemouth bass in two small South Dakota impoundments. Murdo Lake had an estimated largemouth bass density of 84 fish/hectare and a biomass of 33. 6 kg/hectare. Knox Pond, a 1. 3-hectare private pond, had an estimated density of 887 fish/hectare and a biomass of 112. 1 kg/hectare. Twelve anglers fished for two days (218 total hours) at Murdo Lake and caught 11% of the estimated largemouth bass population. Four anglers fished one afternoon (20 total hours) at Knox Pond, and caught 33% of the largemouth bass population. These data demonstrated the vulnerability of largemouth bass to angling in small South Dakota impoundments.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Largemouth bass -- South Dakota
Largemouth bass fishing -- Law and Legislation -- South Dakota
Fish populations -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 52-60)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1991 John P. Lindgren. All rights reserved.