Use of a Flooded Bottomland Hardwood Wetland by Fishes in the Cache River System, Arkansas.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
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Species composition and relative abundance of larval and adult fishes were evaluated in flooded bottomland hardwood wetlands of the Cache River system, Arkansas. Fishes were collected for two consecutive years during the reproductive season March-June in the channel and floodplain of the Cache River. Multiple sampling gears were used to evaluate the importance of three distinct habitats channel, tupelo forest, and oak forest. A total of 10,770 larval and juvenile fishes were collected, representing at least 36 different species. Pirate perch was numerically the most common larval fish species collected. Percidae darters was the dominant family, comprising at least seven species and approximately 40 percent of the total number of larval fish collected. Cyprinidae minnows and Centrarchidae sunfish were the next dominant families. Spotted sucker, channel catfish, and flier were sporadically abundant during the study. More larval fish species were caught in the channel but numerical abundance was highest in the oak habitat. 0 the 32 species collected in the channel, however, 5 species were represented by only a single individual. A total of 30 species were collected in the oak habitat, and this assemblage represented 54 percent of the total number of larval fish collected during the 2-year study. Of these 30 species, 13 taxa were most abundant in this habitat. Cache River system, Hydrology, Wetlands, Collection methods, Spawning, Floodplain habitats, Species composition.