Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Dakota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Dakota Project

Influence of mink predation on Brown Trout in Rapid Creek, SD

July 2017 - December 2019


Participating Agencies

  • South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks

Wild brown trout represent an important fishery in Rapid Creek. The catch and release section of Rapid Creek, below Pactola dam, is particularly notable among anglers and is considered a ‘Blue Ribbon’ trout fishery. Since the early 2000s, the abundance of adult brown trout has declined appreciably and remains low compared to historic estimates. Understanding the cause of this decline is important, given the importance of this catch-and-release fishery and the implications for recruitment of larger fish. Recent work has shown that predation by mink (Mustela vison) may account for significant mortality of Brown Trout in Rapid Creek. Understanding the magnitude of mink predation on Brown trout could have important implications for future management decisions in Rapid Creek. Working in collaboration with South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the U.S. Forest Service, the purpose of this project is to assess impacts of mink predation on trout populations in Rapid Creek, South Dakota. Data gathered in this study will provide insight into the effectiveness of management techniques such as instream habitat improvements and (or) predator block management on trout populations.

Research Publications Publication Date
Davis, J.L., J.W. Wilhite, and S.R. Chipps. 2016. Mink predation of Brown Trout in a Black Hills stream. Prairie Naturalist 48:12-20. March 2016
Presentations Presentation Date
Galinat, A.G., S.R. Chipps, J.A. Jenks, J.L. Davis, and G. Simpson. 2018. Influence of Mink Predation on Brown Trout Survival and Size-Structure in Rapid Creek, South Dakota. 54th Annual Meeting of the Dakota Chapter American Fisheries Society, Brookings, South Dakota. February 2018