Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Colvin, Michael E.

Committee Member

Neal, J. Wesley

Committee Member

Allen, Peter J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


An abundant Paddlefish Polyodon spathula population exists in a 0.8 ha pool below a water control structure at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi. Managers were concerned that regulated flows from the structure were causing an ecological trap if Paddlefish were being attracted from the larger river downstream during the spawning period, but conditions were not suitable to facilitate reproduction. Between February 2016 to April 2018, 117 Paddlefish were identified and daily abundance was estimated between 18 and 75 fish. Telemetry study of 59 fish suggests a mixed population structure where some remain in the pool year-round and other emigrate seasonally, cued by rising spring discharge and water temperature. Reproduction was not documented which suggests a critical component needed for spawning may be missing, at least during this study. Therefore, given the need to remove Paddlefish from the pool, translocation and flow releases may be effective management strategies.