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We described the relations between abundance of macroinvertebrates and several habitat variables in Crow Creek within F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Laramie County, Wyoming. Water velocity and longitudinal location showed the highest numbers of significant correlations with abundance of macroinvertebrate taxa. Changes in the macroinvertebrate community with changes in longitudinal location appeared to result from increasing urbanization with downstream movement. Caenis lattipennis, Ceratopogonidae, and Dubiraphia sp. were rare in the downstream portion of the study reach that has received substantial human disturbance.
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Radiotelemetry is a useful tool to describe habitat use by fish, but studies may inaccurately describe microhabitat use due to failure to account for errors when identifying fish locations. We developed a technique that identifies the extent of location errors of a hand-held radiotelemetry system. The ranges of location errors were determined among different observers, between land and water, and at an array of distances (5 - 125 m) between transmitters and receivers. No significant differences occurred among three observers at distances of 100 m or less or between transmitters on land or in water. Location error increased significantly with distance between transmitter and receiver; mean error was 0.5 m at 5 m...
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Diel patterns of downstream drift were examined during mid-June in three tributaries of Lake Ontario. Larval fishes were collected in drift nets that were set in each stream for 72 consecutive hours and emptied at 4-h intervals. Fantail darter (Ethostoma flabellare) and blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atractulus) were the two most abundant native stream fishes and were two of the three species collected in the ichthyoplankton drift. Fantail darter larvae comprised 100%, 98.9%, and 70.2% of the ichthyoplankton in the three streams. Most larval fishes (96%) drifted at night with peak catches occurring at 2400h in Orwell Brook and Trout Brook and 0400h in Little Sandy Creek. Based on stream temperatures, peak spawning...
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We studied the distribution and winter survival of the Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, in the St. Clair River from the fall of 1988 to the spring of 1990. Between fall of 1988 and spring of 1989, distribution of Corbicula was extended from 5.5 to 11.5 km downstream from an electric power plant. However, total abundance of clams decreased during the winter. By fall of 1989, Corbicula was found 14.5 km from the power plant, and the mean density of clams was 27 individuals/m2. Between fall of 1989 and spring of 1990, distribution was reduced to 7.5 km from the power plant and abundance decreased 97%. During the winter of 1988-1989, we collected clams monthly from one station 2.2 km from the power plant, and we observed...
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We assessed the distributions of three species of conservation concern, bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus), flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis), and roundtail chub (Gila robusta), relative to habitat features across a headwater tributary system of the Colorado River basin in Wyoming. We studied the upper Muddy Creek watershed, Carbon County, portions of which experience intermittent flows during late summer and early fall. Fish and habitat were sampled from 57 randomly-selected, 200-m reaches and 416 habitat units (i.e., pools, glides, or runs) during the summer and fall of 2003 and 2004. Among reaches, the occurrences of adults and juveniles of all three species were positively related to mean wetted...
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Throughout much of the Great Lakes basin, reproduction of several fish species is impaired by deficiency of thiamine in their eggs, an effect attributed to consumption of thiaminase-containing forage species, primarily alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Because the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nesting on islands in Lake Ontario is known to consume considerable amounts of alewife, we examined cormorant food habits and measured thiamine content in eggs collected in 1999 from six separate nests of cormorants from colonies near Lake Ontario and contrasted them with food habits and eggs of cormorants from Oneida Lake where the alewife is rare. Thiamine concentrations in eggs varied between 4.31 and 11.24...
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Summer movement patterns and spatial overlap of native sub-adult brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), non-native landlocked Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and non-native smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in the Rapid River, Maine, were investigated with radio telemetry in 2005. Fishes were captured by angling, surgically implanted with radio transmitters, and tracked actively from June through September. Most brook trout (96%) and landlocked salmon (72%) displayed long distance movements (>1 km) to open water bodies (28 June to 4 July) followed by periods of time spent in presumed thermal refigia (5 July to 16 September). Summer water temperature rose above 25 °C, near the reported lethal limits for these coldwater...
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We evaluated the potential loss of target benthic macroinvertebrates from coarse-mesh field wash down of samples through a 1.18-mm mesh sieve nested on a 0.60-mm mesh sieve. Visible target organisms (midges, mayflies, and fingernail clams) in the 1.18-mm mesh sieve were removed from the sample and enumerated in the field. The entire contents of both sieves were preserved for subsequent laboratory enumeration under 4X magnification. Percent recoveries from each treatment were based on total intact organisms found in all sieves. Percent recovery for fingernail clams found in the field (31%) was lower than for mayflies (79%) and midges (88%). Laboratory enumeration of organisms retained by the 1.18-mm sieve yielded...
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Diet studies have traditionally been used to determine prey use and food web dynamics, while stable isotope analysis provides for a time-integrated approach to evaluate food web dynamics and characterize energy flow in aquatic systems. Direct comparison of the two techniques is rare and difficult to conduct in large, species rich systems. We compared changes in walleye Sander vitreus trophic position (TP) derived from paired diet content and stable isotope analysis. Individual diet-derived TP estimates were dissimilar to stable isotope-derived TP estimates. However, cumulative diet-derived TP estimates integrated from May 2001 to May 2002 corresponded to May 2002 isotope-derived estimates of TP. Average walleye...
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Gizzard shad, Dorosoma cepedianum, have generally been restricted to the lower Missouri River impoundments in South Dakota. In recent years, gizzard shad numbers have increased in Lake Oahe, marking the northern-most natural population. These increases could potentially affect recreational fishes. Specifically, questions arise about larval gizzard shad growth dynamics and if age-0 gizzard shad in Lake Oahe will exhibit fast or slow growth, both of which can have profound effects on piscivore populations in this reservoir. In this study, we evaluated larval gizzard shad hatch timing, growth, and density in Lake Oahe. We collected larval gizzard shad from six sites from May to July 2008 and used sagittal otoliths...
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A modified low-speed saw provided fast and precise sectioning of catfish pectoral spines for use in aging studies. In one hour, 10–15 spines can be sectioned, the sections mounted, and the annuli counted. Two methods commonly used to section ictalurid pectoral spines are (1) acid decalcification, followed by the use of a razor blade or microtome to slice the softened spines, and (2) cutting hard spines with electric saws. Decalcifying methods are time-consuming, and we had difficulty attaining the proper spine consistency for sectioning when we used decalcification techniques. Electric saws with toothed blades tended to obliterate the first-year annulus at the periphery of the central lumen on spines of channel...
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This study focused primarily on the habitat preferences of Hexagenia limbata andEphemera simulans, two species prevalent in northern Lake Huron, to gain a better understanding of the key components that determined their distribution and abundance. Both species preferred habitats based upon depth and sediment type. In addition, the burrowing activity of H. limbata was examined using in-situ, underwater sampling techniques specifically designed for the study. SCUBA divers made resin casts and took clear sediment cores in order to study how the burrow densities of H. limbata related to the sediment: water volume ratios. H. limbata contributed to the bioturbation and sediment porosity in specific, fine-sediment habitats....
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We measured the feeding rate of individual (0.6-12.2 g) young-of-the-year ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) on the live eggs of lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) at 3, 5, and 9 degrees C in the laboratory. These temperatures were selected because they covered the range of lake temperatures over which eggs of most Great Lakes coregonines would be most vulnerable to predation by ruffe. Ruffe readily consumed lake whitefish eggs, and regression analysis showed consumption increased with ruffe size and water temperature. Mean daily egg consumption as a percent of mean ruffe body weight was 0.25% at 3 degrees C, 0.59% at 5 degrees C, and 1.00% at 9 degrees C.
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Embayments are among the most widespread littoral habitats found in Mississippi flood-control reservoirs. These macrohabitats represent commonly used nursery zones for age-0 crappies, Pomoxis spp., despite barren and eroded shorelines formed over 60–70 years of annual water level fluctuations. We tested if embayments displayed microhabitat gradients linked to the effect of water level fluctuations on riparian vegetation and if these gradients were paralleled by gradients in age-0 crappie distribution. Habitat composition changed longitudinally along the embayments with the most pronounced gradient representing a shift from nonvegetated mudflats near the mouth of embayments to herbaceous material upstream. The degree...
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Effects of elevated temperature and acid mine drainage (AMD) on crayfish mortality were investigated in the Stony River, Grant County, West Virginia. During summers 2003 and 2004, four-week in situ bioassays were performed along a thermal and AMD gradient with the native crayfish Cambarus bartonii. Crayfish mortality was analyzed in conjunction with temperature and AMD related variables (pH, specific conductivity). Mortality was significantly higher (48-88%) at sites with high temperatures during 2003 (max = 33.0??C), but no significant differences were observed in 2004 (max = 32.0??C). Temperatures were higher in 2003 than 2004 due to increased discharge from a cooling reservoir flowing into the river. Additionally,...
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We describe a commercially-available funnel trap for sampling aquatic vertebrates. The traps can be used in heavily vegetated wetlands and can be set in water up to 60 cm deep without concern for drowning the animals. They were especially useful for capturing the aquatic salamanders Siren lacertina and Amphiuma means, which have been difficult to capture with traditional sampling methods. They also were effective for sampling small fishes, particularly centrarchids, and larval anurans. In total, 14 species of amphibians, nine species of aquatic reptiles, and at least 32 fish species were captured. The trap we describe differs significantly from traditional funnel traps (e.g., minnow traps) and holds great promise...
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We described the distribution of cladoceran zooplankton under the ice in a natural, glacial lake. Local light availability apparently altered the spatial distribution of cladocerans. Light levels measured under snow-covered areas (0.178 lux) were an order of magnitude less than those measured at the same depth under clear ice (1.750 lux). Cladoceran density under snow-covered areas was significantly higher (Bosmina spp.=3.34/L; Daphnia spp.=0.61/L) than cladoceran abundance under clear ice (Bosmina spp.=0.91/L; Daphnia spp.=0.19/L).
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We assessed longitudinal variation in small fish assemblages in the Wind River watershed upstream from Boysen Reservoir, Wyoming and into the reservoir. Twenty-six species were found in the study area, and 12 of the species were believed to have been introduced since settlement by Europeans. Additions and losses of fish species occurred with downstream progression, especially the addition of introduced species. Introduced species increased from 25% of the total number of species in the upper-most river segment (31.5-35.3 km upstream from the reservoir), to 46% in the river segment immediately upstream from the reservoir, to 48% in the reservoir. The most abundant species in the riverine portion of the watershed...
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Percina (Cottogaster) aurora is an imperiled species under consideration for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To better understand habitat use of P. aurora, we studied a related and more abundant Cottogasterspecies, Percina copelandi, from the Ouachita River, Arkansas. We used a laboratory stream system to examine mesohabitat selection (pools versus riffles) and microhabitat selection (substratum particle size) of P. copelandi over three temperature regimes (summer, spring, and winter). Percina copelandi selected pool habitats over riffles and selected pools with coarse substrata (e.g., cobble) over fine substrata (e.g., gravel). In riffles, P. copelandi selected large substrata during winter and spring...