Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The lateral distribution of goldeye, Hiodon alosoides (Rafinesque) in Little Missouri Arm, Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, was investigated during 1967 and 1968. This species, which is of commercial importance in Canada, is present in great abundance in Lake Sakakawea, yet is not commercially exploited in that body of water.

Experimental gill nets were fished from the surface at eight locations along the Little Missouri Arm to detect differences in goldeye populations along the length of the arm. A total of 7,191 fish were taken of which 6, 536 or 90.80% were goldeye. Mesh selectivity data was recorded; 1 1/4 inch mesh was the most effective. Total length, weight, and sex of all goldeye taken were recorded and scale samples collected. The length-frequency of the catch was plotted and the average rate of growth of six year classes was determined by examining scales from 567 fish. Seperate growth rates were calculated for male and female goldeye. Females averaged longer than males after the first year of life. Goldeye sex ratios favoring males increased gradually from stations 1 to 8. Increasing turbidity levels from stations 1 to 8 closely paralleled these increasing sex ratios indicating a possible correlation. Results also indicated that spring water temperatures affect both depth distribution and ripeness of goldeye.

Vertical water temperature, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen data were taken at each station to determine the presence or absence of density currents which have a profound affect on fish distribution in other reservoirs. Little evidence was found which suggested the existence of these currents.