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Fisheries Section Research Reports and Abstracts

The Impacts of Sand and Gravel Dredging on Trout and Trout Habitat in the Chattahoochee River, Georgia

Project number: F-26
Study: XI
Final Report Date:  March 1986
Period Covered: 1 October 1984 - 30 June 1986
Authors: Christopher R. Martin and Timmy B. Hess

Study Objective

To determine the impacts of sand and gravel dredging on the distribution of trout and other fish species, trout condition, and trout habitat in the Chattahoochee River.


The impact of sand and gravel dredging on trout and trout habitat in the Chattahoochee River was investigated during October-November 1984.  Six 100-meter sections of the river near two sand dredges (three sections per dredge) were sampled using electrofishing and detonation cord.  While one dredge created a long, deep pool with primarily sand substrate, the other dredge created a "sediment trap" at the upstream end of its permitted area which appeared to benefit downstream trout habitat.  Current velocity was significantly slower and the numbers of competitive fish and competitive fish species were greater in the dredged areas, however.  Both dredge operators removed from their permitted areas large gravel and fallen trees, which had served as substrate for aquatic insects and essential cover for trout.  Recommendations concerning dredge operating procedures are presented.

Full Report

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