Principal problems concerning the fisheries of large reservoirs in the Southeast are: inefficient and highly selective exploitation of fish stocks, and protection and reclamation of damaged or threatened fisheries in tailwaters and tributary streams. Seven mainstream reservoirs on which data are available support an average angling pressure of 4.9 trips per acre per year and an average catch of 16 pounds of sport fish and 6 pounds of food fish. Commercial take is 7 pounds per acre. The rate of catch of sport fish, based upon tag returns, is only 3 percent. Sixteen storage reservoirs support an average angling pressure of 5.0 trips per acre per year and an average catch of 13 pounds of sport fish and 1 pound of food fish. Commercial catch is of no significance. Average rate of catch of sport fish is 17 percent of the catchable population. Fish population studies indicate that there are twice as many sport fish and four times as many food fish in mainstream than there are in storage reservoirs.
Some reservoirs produce harmful effects downstream. Discharges of cold water may seriously reduce fishery values in tailwaters and downstream impoundments. Furthermore, migration of non-sport fish from reservoirs into tributary streams may reduce fishery values there.
In recognition of these problems, the development and application of sound management procedures may be accomplished by controlling species composition and availability of fish through water level control, timber clearing, application of selective toxicants, commercial fishing, introduction of new fish species, and the management of tailwaters and tributaries. Extended research and interagency cooperation are necessary to properly develop and apply sound management. Promotion of angling and regulation of the fishery may best be realized by providing adequate fishing facilities, elimination of certain restricted areas, and in some cases revision of laws and regulations. Biologists must not only meet the present demands for improved sport fishing but must also balance fish yield by increasing the use of food fish by sport and commercial operations.
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|series||unknown||Transactions of the American Fisheries Society|
|journal||Transactions of the American Fisheries Society|