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

Bettinger, J. M., and P. W. Bettoli. 2004. Seasonal movement of brown trout in the Clinch River, Tennessee. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:1480-1485.


We used radio telemetry to monitor the seasonal movements of trophy-size brown trout Salmo trutta in the Clinch River below Norris Dam, TN, to determine whether establishing a special-regulations reach to reduce fishing mortality was a viable management option. Fifteen brown trout (size range 430 – 573 mm TL) collected from the river were implanted with radio transmitters between November 1997 and May 1998. Fifty-three percent of brown trout died or expelled their transmitter within 50 d post-surgery. Fall range of movement (mean range = 5,848 m) for surviving brown trout was significantly larger (P = 0.0001) than any other seasonal range. Four brown trout that were monitored for more than one year exhibited limited range of movement (< 2 km) during the winter, spring, and summer, but they made extensive movements (> 5 km) during the fall season, presumably to spawn. Brown trout also moved more (P = 0.0001) during the fall than any other season. Harvest restrictions applied to a specific reach of the Clinch River would reduce exploitation of brown trout in that reach for most of the year, but not during the fall when many fish undertake extensive spawning migrations.