Changes in the canadian river fish assemblage associated with reservoir construction

Timothy H. Bonner, Gene R. Wilde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

The fish assemblage of the Canadian River in Texas historically was dominated by Hybognathus placitus and Notropis girardi. These species represented > 90% of fishes collected from the Canadian River in 1954–1955. Construction of two reservoirs on the Canadian River in the 1960s (Ute Reservoir, New Mexico, 1962; Lake Meredith, Texas, 1965) altered hydrologic conditions in the river and affected the fish assemblage. Downstream from Ute Reservoir, mean annual discharge decreased by about 38% after impoundment, but H. placitus, N. girardi, and other mainstem species still dominate the assemblage. Downstream from Lake Meredith, mean annual discharge decreased by 76% and the historic mainstem fish assemblage has been almost completely replaced by species that formerly were restricted to tributary streams. The magnitude of post-impoundment changes in the fish assemblage of the Canadian River appears to be related to the degree that discharge has declined, especially during the spawning season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Freshwater Ecology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000

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