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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


I evaluated seasonal variation in relative abundance, size structure, and body condition for largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides collected by night electrofishing from Enemy Swim Lake, South Dakota, from May through November of 2000 and 2001. Mean catch per unit effort (CPUE; number of stock-length largemouth bass per hour of electrofishing) ranged from 1.5 in November to 101.4 in June of 2000 and from 13.3 in October to 182.9 in June of 2001. In general, mean CPUE peaked during late spring-early summer and declined through summer and into fall. Size structure indices followed a bimodal pattern in 2000 and 2001, with peaks occurring in late spring-early summer and fall. The observed fall peaks may overestimate actual population size structure. Body condition, as indexed by relative weight (Wr), was consistently high (i.e., > 100) across all length categories throughout the duration of my study. Seasonal variation in mean Wr among individual length categories existed, but a similar trend within each length category across years was not evident. These data suggest that the optimal time to sample largemouth bass in South Dakota natural lakes is during late spring-early summer when water temperatures are 16-22°C. I sampled largemouth bass populations from six glacial lakes and three large (i.e.,> 60 ha) impoundments in eastern South Dakota to determine population structure (relative abundance, size structure, body condition, and age structure) and dynamics (recruitment, growth, and mortality). Most lakes exhibited relatively low abundance; mean CPUE ranged from 0 to 108.5/h across lakes in 2000 and from 3.9 to 123.4/h across lakes in 2001. Mean CPUE was positively correlated with percent submergent vegetation coverage. Size structure indices varied among lakes but were relatively high [e.g., relative stock density of preferred-length fish (RSD-P) typically exceeded 10]. Both proportional stock density (PSD) and RSD-P were inversely correlated with mean CPUE and positively correlated with growth. Mean W, varied with in each length category among lakes and among length categories with in each lake. In general, largemouth bass condition in all my study lakes was relatively high (e.g., Wr values typically exceeded 90), indicating suitable prey availability in these waters. Largemouth bass condition was inversely correlated with mean CPUE and was positively correlated with growth across all length categories. Age structure varied among lakes but the presence of relatively old largemouth bass and the occurrence of weak or missing year classes was common in the majority of my study lakes. All populations exhibited variable or moderately variable recruitment. Growth rates differed among lakes and between water body types but generally were fast. Growth was inversely correlated with mean CPUE. Highly variable recruitment patterns precluded the calculation of mortality rates. These data provide fishery managers in South Dakota with baseline information regarding the structure and dynamics of largemouth bass populations in eastern South Dakota glacial lakes and large impoundments and should facilitate bass management in these particular environments.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Largemouth bass -- South Dakota
Fish populations -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 54-62)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2002 William L. McKibbin. All rights reserved.