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Establishment of a fish community in the hayden-rhodes and salt-gila aqueducts, Arizona

North American Journal of Fisheries Management

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Abstract

Fish populations were studied in the Central Arizona Project's canal system during the first 4 years of aqueduct operation (1986-1989). Ichthyoplankton entering the canal from Lake Havasu averaged 1 larva/m3 during April-June 1987 and 1988. Larval fish densities increased significantly in downstream samples, substantiating diver observations that fish were spawning in the canal system. Of the 16 fish species collected, 14 were assumed to have originated from Lake Havasu and 2 were introduced by anglers from their bait buckets. Initially, the fish community was dominated numerically by threadfin shad Dorosoma petenense (>88%), centrarchids (< 10%), cyprinids (<2%), and striped bass Morone saxatilis (<1%). However, as annual water diversions increased from 13 x 108 m3 in 1986 to 9.4 x 108 m3 in 1989, community composition shifted from clupeids to centrarchids (70%). Fish densities dropped from an estimated 1,260 fish/ha in 1986 to 17 fish/ha in 1989, and biomass dropped from 116 to 73 kg/ha. Declines were attributed to higher operational velocities, associated scour, deprivation, and predation. Although initial populations adjusted downward to planned operational conditions, the fish community continued to represent a potentially valuable, but as yet unused, resource.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Establishment of a fish community in the hayden-rhodes and salt-gila aqueducts, Arizona
Series title:
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume
16
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1996
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
First page:
795
Last page:
804
Number of Pages:
10