The Importance of Shallow-Low Velocity Habitats to Juvenile Fish in the Middle Mississippi River
Habitat management is a crucial aspect of fisheries management. Without knowledge of habitat associations, fisheries scientists are unable to effectively make habitat conservation or restoration recommendations. This becomes especially prominent when trying to manage commercially harvested populations and protect threatened or endangered species. To determine juvenile fishes habitat associations in the Middle Mississippi River, we analysed mini-trawl catch data of six common juvenile fish species: blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), channel shiner (Notropis wickliffi), freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), and shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus). Overall, we conducted 2251 mini-trawl sampling efforts between 2002 and 2013, resulting in the capture of 23,742 target specimens. Catch per unit effort was evaluated by structural habitat (i.e. velocity, depth, and substrate). Overall, these data suggest that juvenile fish species are more prevalent in shallow water and slower velocities. Ultimately the information garnered during this evaluation should be incorporated when considering habitat modifications, especially those modifications that impact the availability of shallow-low velocity habitats. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
habitat association, juvenile fish, Mississippi River, river channelization
Love, S. A., Q. E. Phelps, S. J. Tripp, and D. P. Herzog. "The importance of shallow‐low velocity habitats to juvenile fish in the middle Mississippi River." River Research and Applications 33, no. 3 (2017): 321-327.
River Research and Applications