Seasonal movements of Paddlefish (Polyadon spathula) in the Allegheny Reservoir.
Budnik, Richard Raymond
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We used radio telemetry to determine the distribution and movements of paddlefish Polyadon spathula in the Allegheny Reservoir. Thirty-one adult and subadult paddlefish collected from spring congregation areas in the Allegheny Reservoir, New York and Pennsylvania, were implanted with radio transmitters and relocated from 29 May to 29 October 2008 and 10 March to 29 September 2009. Paddlefish showed a significant increase in average size and little variation in condition from 2008 to 2009. In both pre-spawning and spawning periods, paddlefish moved upstream and congregated near predicted spawning areas where the Allegheny River widens and becomes the Allegheny Reservoir. During the post-spawning period paddlefish moved downstream into lower reservoir regions. Forty-five percent of individuals tracked ended up below the dam of the Reservoir by the end of the study. Restoration and stocking efforts may now need to focus on determining if natural spawning is taking place and how individuals traveling through the dam may be affecting the paddlefish population.