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P.W. Bettoli

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Oxytetracycline (OTC) immersion was used to identify black-nosed crappies, a morphological variation of black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus, stocked into Normandy Reservoir, Tennessee, during fall 1997. The technique effectively marked 97% of the treated fish. Analysis of one otolith per fish by one reader successfully identified 98% of marked and unmarked fish in a blind test. Marks were formed before annulus formation and were not obscured by annulus-related autofluorescence, suggesting that OTC can be effectively used late in the year (October and November) in Tennessee.
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Since 1979, abundances of sauger Stizostedion canadense have declined in the Tennessee River system. Reasons for this decline may include overharvest, loss of spawning habitat, and low recruitment due to extreme flows. The purpose of this study was to investigate the movements of saugers following winter concentration below Pickwick Dam, Tennessee. Thirty-seven saugers were implanted with radio transmitters directly below Pickwick Dam and were tracked between December 1992 and June 1993. Four saugers moved upstream through the locks at Pickwick Dam; the remaining fish stayed within the first 30 km of the tailwater throughout the spawning season. Three areas below Pickwick Dam were identified as possible March pre-spawn...
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Since the mid-1950s, fisheries biologists with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have stocked walleyes Stizostedion vitreum in several tributary reservoirs of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to augment declining native stocks; however, the efficacy of these management actions has never been formally evaluated. The contribution of stocked walleyes in four Tennessee reservoirs was evaluated during 1999 and 2000 by marking fry and fingerlings through oxytetracycline (OTC) immersion. Stocking densities were 13-48 fingerlings/ha, and marking efficacy was high for fish marked as fry (mean = 98%; SE = 1.7%) and fingerlings (mean = 99%; SE = 0.6%). Nearly all (94-100%; N = 509) of the age-1 and age-2 walleyes...
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Age-O largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and spotted bass M. punctulatus were collected from Normandy Reservoir, Tennessee, 1992-1996, to evaluate effects of reservoir hydrology and hatching of shad Dorosoma spp. on hatching and first-year growth and survival of these two species. Fish were collected in cove rotenone samples in early August and electrofishing samples biweekly throughout the summer; hatch dates and age-specific growth for both species were determined from cove samples with sagittal otoliths. Hatching of both species ranged from early April to early June. Initiation of largemouth bass spawning, but not spotted bass spawning, was positively related to the first day water levels achieved full pool....
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Paddlefish Polyodon spathula (n = 576) were collected from Kentucky Lake, Kentucky-Tennessee, with experimental gill nets in 2003-2004 to assess population characteristics and the potential for commercial overfishing. Additional data were collected from 1,039 paddlefish caught by commercial gillnetters in this impoundment. Since the most recent study in 1991, size and age structure have been reduced and annual mortality has tripled. In the 1991 study, 37% of the fish collected were older than the maximum age we observed (age 11), and in 2003 annual mortality for paddlefish age 7 and older was high (A = 68%). Natural mortality is presumably low (<10%) for paddlefish; therefore, exploitation in recent years is high....
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