Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Wildlife Science

Committee Chair(s)

Charles R. Berry


Charles R. Berry


Different strains of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri), Ten Sleep, Sand Creek, Beitey, Shepherd-of-the-Hills, New Zealand, Fish Lake-Desmet, Desmet, were compared for survival to the creel, growth and catchability after being stocked in a fluctuating 80 ha Utah reservoir. Fish were stocked in the spring and fall as fingerlings and monitored by creel censusing, gill netting and electrofishing. Fish were tagged with coded wire snout tags prior to stocking. An angler opinion survey was conducted to determine angler satisfaction with numbers and size of fish caught.

Regardless of strain, spring stocking was superior to fall stocking in survival to the creel. In the spring 78 stocking the Ten Sleep strain had the highest survival to the creel (33.7 percent), followed in order by Shepherd-of-the-Hills (11.0 percent), Beitey (5.5 percent), Sand Creek (5.4 percent), New Zealand (4.1 percent), and Fish Lake-Desmet (2.9 percent). In the spring 79 stocking the Shepherd-of-the- Hills strain had the highest survival to the creel (7.6 percent), followed in order by the Sand Creek (7.3 percent) and the Ten Sleep (6.5 percent). Similar trends in survival were found in gill netting and electrofishing samples. Migration out of the reservoir was negligible for each strain. There were no strain differences in catchability by different methods (shore, boat) or gear (bait, artificial lure). Differences in growth between the fastest growing strains (Ten Sleep, Sand Creek) and the slowest growing strains (New Zealand, Fish Lake-Desmet) averaged as great as 16 mm in length and 43 g in weight. Differences in growth and survival among strains were great enough to span the range of angler satisfaction with numbers caught and size of fish caught from satisfactory to unsatisfactory. Therefore, strain selection can be a useful tool to improve fingerling stocking programs and manipulate the number of anglers who are satisfied with the angling experience.