In an effort to highlight best practices in the management of wild eastern brook trout, an examination was performed of brook trout management plans and stocking habits for seven randomly selected states within the species native range. Additionally, surveys were distributed to these state’s members of Trout Unlimited (TU) in an effort to understand angler motivations, awareness of and attitudes about their state’s stocking practices and protection of wild brook trout fisheries. The states selected were within the eastern brook trout’s native range and included West Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont, Maryland, and North Carolina. While each state differs in its efforts to either restore or protect existing wild brook trout populations, all seven states continue to stock hatchery-raised brook trout to maintain a viable sport fishery. However, regarding stocking dynamics, each state has unique policies regarding where the stocking occurs in relation to how these efforts potentially impacts wild populations. Survey results indicated that, while the majority of TU members expressed a strong understanding of their states stocking practices, they were still strongly interested in gaining additional information, indicating a need for more transparency regarding stocking habits and practices. Furthermore, survey results indicated that a large percentage of TU members still enjoy fishing for popular, nonnative, sport fish such as bass and brown trout. Additionally, support for policies protecting wild brook trout diminished as opportunities for catching larger fish diminished along with the removal of popular, nonnative sport fish. Overall, results indicated a need for fisheries managers to work more closely with cold-water conservation organizations, such as Trout Unlimited, and their members to assist in the crafting of policies that benefit both the sport fishing industry and wild brook trout populations.
|Commitee:||Altrichter, Mariana, Sherman, Peter|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Studies, Natural Resource Management, Aquatic sciences|
|Keywords:||Angler survey, Brook Trout, Fisheries management, Wildlife conservation|
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