Priority Fish Species

Based on the same nationwide survey of large reservoirs ≥ 250 acres, which yielded 1,250 responses, Friends of Reservoirs was able to collect fishery species information.  For each reservoir surveyed, the first-, second- and third-most important recreational fish species were identified. This enabled the Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership to identify the most important species in each region, with the goal of using this information to guide decision-making in the fish habitat grant process.  A grant proposal which targets priority species specifically will gain more points in the evaluation (Table 1).

Table 1. Priority fish species by region, as established by the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership’s national assessment.

Coastal Plains Southern Plains Temperate Plains Southern Appalachians Northern Appalachians Northern Plains Upper Midwest Xeric Western Mts.
Largemouth Bass Largemouth bass Largemouth bass Largemouth bass Largemouth bass Walleye Walleye Largemouth bass Trout spp.
Crappie spp. Catfish spp. Catfish spp. Crappie spp. Smallmouth bass Trout spp. Crappie spp. Trout spp. Largemouth bass
Catfish spp. Walleye Crappie spp. Catfish spp. Walleye Esox spp. Sunfish spp. Catfish spp. Smallmouth bass
Sunfish spp. Crappie spp. Sunfish spp. Walleye Crappie spp. Smallmouth bass Smallmouth bass Walleye Crappie spp.

These rankings were combined using the following formula:


In this survey rank r ranges from 1 to 3 because survey respondents identified only the first, second, and third most important recreational species in each reservoir.  The index range differs based on the ranges of input variables and yields a relative value meaningful to the nri locations and k species considered.  In other words, the ranking value is specific to region.

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