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Long-distance movements by flannelmouth sucker in big river habitats Matthew J. Breen & Trina N. Hedrick, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Long-distance movements by flannelmouth sucker in big river habitats Matthew J. Breen & Trina N. Hedrick, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Long-distance movements by flannelmouth sucker in big river habitats Matthew J. Breen & Trina N. Hedrick, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

2 Flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis) Historical range reduced –Bezzerides & Bestgen (2002) Utah Tier I Sensitive Species State & Range-Wide conservation agreements Viable populations in Green & White rivers (2007–2010) –Breen & Hedrick (2008, 2009, 2010) –Flannelmouth movements? Un-impounded reach of the Upper Colorado River Basin Introduction

3 Study Area

4 Methods Electrofishing surveys –Both shorelines –Habitat dictated sampling gear –Collected juvenile & adult fish Spring (April–June) Summer (July–August) PIT-tagged fish 2007–2009 Recaptured fish 2008–2010 Cataraft electrofishing Boat electrofishing PIT-tagging a flannelmouth

5 Results PIT-tagged 3,058 flannelmouth 71 recaptures –Mean TL = ± 7.7 mm; range = 196–507 –2.3% of tagged fish Duration between captures = ± 75.5 days –4 recaptures from 2001–2002 Lower Green River Year# Tagged# Recaptured — , —44 Scanning a flannelmouth for a PIT-tag

6 Flannelmouth Movements 71 recaptures Mean distance = 61.0 ± 9.0 km Range = 0 – 360 km

7 Size-specific Movements r S = P = N = 71

8 Reproductive Maturity Sigler & Sigler (1996) –Mature > 422 mm (N=52) –Immature < 353 mm (N=7) –Intermediate = 353–422 mm (N=12) –Spawning signatures (N=10) Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA –H = ; P = 0.002; df = 2 –Mature vs. Immature

9 Home Range & Within-Season Movement Preliminary home range analysis –1 month separation (N = 41) –Mean = 63.2 ± 11.4 km –Underestimate? Within-season movement –3 spring recaptures; all moving downstream –Mean = ± 35.6 km (10.5 ± 3.2 km/day) –195.9 km in 14 days!

10 Directional Movement 58% moved upstream; 41% downstream –Metapopulation differences? U = P = N = 70

11 Inter-drainage Movements 10% of recaptures in both rivers –5 into the White in spring –1 into the White in summer –1 moved out in summer Highest CPUE during April sampling –26.5% w/ spawning signatures –Pre-peak spawning migration Peak: mid-May to end-June Movement into the White occurred from below & above the confluence –Metapopulation differences? Tuberculated anal fin CPUE (fish/hr) Discharge (cfs) August May ,083 August April

12 Green River Seasonal Distribution FLOW

13 Summary & Conclusions Highly mobile in big river habitats –Lower basin (Thieme 1997) 12.5% moved ≥ 98 km –Larger fish move farther Chart & Bergeson (1992) –Spawning sites & post-spawn locations widely separated

14 Summary & Conclusions Highly mobile in big river habitats –Lower basin (Thieme 1997) 12.5% moved ≥ 98 km –Larger fish move farther Chart & Bergeson (1992) –Spawning sites & post-spawn locations widely separated Importance of mid-order tributaries –High spring CPUE –Spring migrations into the White River –High juvenile to adult ratio (summer residents)

15 Summary & Conclusions Highly mobile in big river habitats –Lower basin (Thieme 1997) 12.5% moved ≥ 98 km –Larger fish move farther Chart & Bergeson (1992) –Spawning sites & post-spawn locations widely separated Importance of mid-order tributaries –High spring CPUE –Spring migrations into the White River –High juvenile to adult ratio (summer residents) Metapopulation-specific spawning migrations –Timing & direction of movements –Is sampling sufficient to pick up movements? Catching fish in route? Large enough sample area? Flow-specific cues initiating movements? Lots of tagged fish to work with!

16 Thanks to all who helped with fieldwork! Funding provided by the Endangered Species Mitigation Fund, State Wildlife Grants, & the BLM Fisheries Program Questions?


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