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

Russell, D., and P.W. Bettoli. 2013. Population attributes of lake trout in Tennessee reservoirs. Southeastern Naturalist 12:217-232.


Abstract - We sampled stocked Salvelinus namaycush (Lake Trout) in Watauga Lake and South Holston Lake, Tennessee, using experimental gill nets in 2009-2010 to describe their growth, longevity, and condition. Annuli in sagittal otoliths formed once a year in early spring in both reservoirs. South Holston Lake (n = 99 Lake Trout) has been stocked since 2006, and the oldest fish was age 4. Watauga Lake has been stocked since the mid-1980s, and we collected 158 Lake Trout up to age 20. Annual mortality for age-3 and older fish in Watauga Lake was 24%. When compared to Lake Trout in northern lakes, Tennessee Lake Trout exhibited average to above-average growth and longevity. Condition of Lake Trout in both reservoirs varied seasonally and tended to be lowest in fall, but rebounded in winter and spring. Lake Trout in both reservoirs appeared to be spatially segregated from pelagic prey fishes during summer stratification, but growth rates and body condition were high enough to suggest that neither system was being overstocked.