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Title: Larval fish dynamics in oxbow lakes with varying connections to a temperate river
Authors: Killgore, K. Jack
Miller, Gary L. (Gary Leon), 1954-
Keywords: Fish rearing
Oxbow lakes
Fish larvae
Fish populations
Publisher: U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Wetlands Research Program (U.S.)) ; no. Technical Report WRP-SM-11
Abstract: Larval fish assemblages were evaluated in oxbow lakes with varying degrees of connection with the Tallahatchie River, a delta stream in the upper Yazoo River Basin in northwestern Mississippi: isolated, seasonally connected, and permanently connected. Eight collections at approximately 7-day intervals were made in each lake between 2 April and 21 May 1993 using Plexiglas larval traps; total sample size was 216. A total of 3,814larval and 436 juvenile fish from 11 different taxa were collected during the study; larval fish abundance and species richness were similar among lakes. However, species diversity and evenness were highest in the permanently connected lake. The three lakes differed in the relative representation of the most common taxa found in the study. Larval Pomoxis was the most common taxon collected in the isolated and permanently connected lakes, whereas Dorosoma cepedianum was most common in the seasonally connected lake. Larval Ictiobus were collected in small numbers in the two lakes with connections to the main river channel, whereas larval Micropterus were collected only in the isolated lake. Temporal abundance of common taxa also differed among the three lakes with the isolated lake most dissimilar. Spatial distribution of total catch was nonuniform in lakes. Oxbow lakes support moderate numbers of larval fish species, which may reflect the relative stability of physical conditions in these floodplain habitats. Species common in the oxbow lakes are also common species in the lower Mississippi River basin: crappie, gizzard shad, minnow and shiners, sunfishes, and mosquitofish. This study suggests that oxbow lakes contiguous with the river have higher species diversity than those that are isolated due to accessibility to floodplain by laterally migrating fish such as buffalo and an ecotone between swift and slackwater habitats that can be exploited by smaller species, particularly minnows and shiners. Thus, one practical solution to managing wetlands is ensuring that permanent water bodies on the floodplain are contiguous with the river during floods.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: Technical Report WRP-SM-11
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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