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Perspectives on Research in Science and Mathematics (PRISM)

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Presentation

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Briery Creek and Sandy River Reservoirs in Farmville, VA are recognized statewide for their trophy largemouth bass fishery. However, annual stock assessments in the lakes suggest that younger life history stages of bass are not as abundant in Briery Creek Reservoir compare to Sandy River Reservoir. This leads to questions regarding the long-term sustainability of the bass fishery in Briery Creek. Our objectives are 1) to create an environmental database of water quality information collected by the VA Department of Environmental Quality in both lakes combined with fisheries data from the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and 2) to assess possible trends in water quality that correlate with fish population dynamics in the two reservoirs. Preliminary work assembling the water quality data from the late 1990s to the present, suggest that Sandy River Reservoir is a more productive system in terms of algal biomass, which may provide more energy to support prey for young bass. We look forward to collaborating with aquatic biologists at DGIF to compile the fisheries data and hope our results will provide valuable information for maintaining a healthy fishery in both systems.

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Effect of Water Quality on Fish Populations in Briery Creek and Sandy River Reservoirs

Briery Creek and Sandy River Reservoirs in Farmville, VA are recognized statewide for their trophy largemouth bass fishery. However, annual stock assessments in the lakes suggest that younger life history stages of bass are not as abundant in Briery Creek Reservoir compare to Sandy River Reservoir. This leads to questions regarding the long-term sustainability of the bass fishery in Briery Creek. Our objectives are 1) to create an environmental database of water quality information collected by the VA Department of Environmental Quality in both lakes combined with fisheries data from the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and 2) to assess possible trends in water quality that correlate with fish population dynamics in the two reservoirs. Preliminary work assembling the water quality data from the late 1990s to the present, suggest that Sandy River Reservoir is a more productive system in terms of algal biomass, which may provide more energy to support prey for young bass. We look forward to collaborating with aquatic biologists at DGIF to compile the fisheries data and hope our results will provide valuable information for maintaining a healthy fishery in both systems.