Age-0 blue catfish habitat use and population demographics in the middle Mississippi River
The demographics (e.g. hatch time, growth and mortality) and habitat (macrohabitat and mesohabitat) use of age-0 blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus (Lesueur) were evaluated in the un-impounded reach of the middle Mississippi River during 2003–2010. Each year, island complexes and adjacent main river habitats were trawled, and 7,373 age-0 blue catfish (10–144 mm total length) were collected. Blue catfish hatch timing varied slightly across years and generally began in June and ended in August. Age-0 blue catfish growth rates and instantaneous mortality rates differed among years. Catch rates of age-0 blue catfish were highest in side channels and around islands, whereas main channel habitats were infrequently occupied. Regarding mesohabitat use, age-0 blue catfish frequently occupied low velocity areas (i.e. 0.3–0.4 m/s) of shallow depth (i.e. 1–4 m) and sand substratum. This study has provided insight into age-0 blue catfish population dynamics and has highlighted the importance of specific habitat characteristics in large rivers that may aid in recruitment of this species.
age-0, blue catfish, growth, habitat, hatch timing, mortality
Seibert, K. L., J. R. Seibert, and Q. E. Phelps. "Age‐0 blue catfish habitat use and population demographics in the middle Mississippi River." Fisheries Management and Ecology 24, no. 6 (2017): 427-435.
Fisheries Management and Ecology