South Dakota Researcher Study Fish Density

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Researchers are studying if reducing the fish population in some areas of a western South Dakota creek will improve fish growth rates.

Researchers with the South Dakota State University and the state Game, Fish and Parks department are studying the densely populated Spearfish Creek.

The department removed half of the brown trout in seven of the 14 study areas in the creek in 2016. Brown trout are more aggressive so they were removed in an attempt to give rainbow trout a better chance of surviving.

Researchers have returned to the sites to study how the fishes’ growth rates were impacted.

Travis Rehm is a graduate research assist with the university. He says initial findings have found that fish are larger, though it’s too soon to officially draw any conclusions.


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