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

West Virginia Project

Evaluations of Yellow Perch spawning and water level fluctuations for Cheat Lake, West Virginia

March 2020 - August 2020


Participating Agencies

  • 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.