West Virginia Project
Evaluations of Yellow Perch spawning and water level fluctuations for Cheat Lake, West Virginia
March 2020 - August 2020
- Cube Hydro Partners, LLC
Hydropower reservoirs support many recreational and economic benefits, including recreational fisheries. These reservoirs often undergo seasonal water level drawdowns for power production. Drawdowns often conflict with fish spawning times, where reduced water levels result in dewatered fish eggs and negative impacts to fish populations. This study examined spawning success of a Yellow Perch population relative to drawdowns of Cheat Lake, a hydropower reservior in northern West Virginia. This study was a collaborative effort by the USGS West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), and Cube Hydro, LLC. Results of this research will be used for negotation of the extent of drawdowns during FERC relicensing of the hydropower dam. Results will inform decisions of WVDNR for management of the Yellow Perch fishery.