Date of Award:

1977

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

William F. Sigler

Abstract

This study was conducted on Willard Bay Reservoir, Utah, during the summers of 1972 and 1973, to study the spawning biology of the channel catfish (Ictalurus Punctatus), and to evaluate potential reproduction for this species in the reservoir. Potential reproduction was evaluated through examination of available natural habitat and use of artificial habitat provided for this study.

Channel catfish were found to mature by the end of their fourth year and spawn from mid-June through August. A total of 12 nesting channel catfish were observed along 15, 0.8 kilometer (0.5 mile) sections of dike. Ten of these 12 nests were along the dike-bottom interface. Numerous other areas along these sections of dike were considered to be favorable spawning habitat.

Only four fish, two black bullheads (Ictalurus melas) and two channel catfish, were observed using artificial spawning habitat. All four fish utilized milk cans as spawning structures, rather than tire groups or plastic trash cans.

Results indicated that there is suitable habitat available in the reservoir to accommodate a much larger population of channel catfish spawners. Length frequency analysis and capture of young-of-the-year show that channel catfish had spawned successfully each year since 1971.

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