Slackwater habitats and reproductive success of pelagic broadcast-spawning fishes

Project Description

Lateral connectivity to floodplains is fragmented when structures prevent water and aquatic organisms from accessing the floodplain, such that floodplain habitats are lost (Schlosser 1991). In this context, flow alterations that reduce discharge magnitudes and compromise floodplain inundation create a special case of habitat fragmentation and loss for pelagophils (Costigan and Daniels 2012; Hoagstrom and Turner 2015). This project would determine the relative importance of slackwater habitats (available at both low and high flows) to the reproductive success of pelagic broadcast-spawning fishes (e.g., Arkansas River Shiner).

Conservation Area


NFCA Objectives

Project Hierarchy: 1
Estimated Cost Range: ~$200,000 - $300,000
Project Submitted By: Shannon Brewer
Suggested Contact: Shannon Brewer

Understanding survival related to spawning habitat and flow conditions would seem important prerequisites to being able to successfully model population responses to flow alteration. Stream connectivity during low-flow conditions over an appropriate stream length that allows for successful egg and larvae development have been suggested (Mills and Mann 1985; Nunn et al. 2003; Durham and Wilde 2006, 2008a, 2009a; Perkin and Gido 2011) but the role of floodplains and other habitats that increase egg retention (Worthington et al. 2014) remain largely unexplored and have important implications for flow management.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Texas Parks and Wildlife

State Wildlife Grants, Multistate Wildlife Grants, USFWS Great Plains LCC

Project Status

  • Suggested
  • Ongoing
  • Completed

Project Location

South Canadian River