Identifying factors that influence fish movement is a key step in predicting how populations respond to environmental change. Using mark-recapture (four species) and trap capture (eight species) data, we examined relationships between three attributes of movement and 15 ecological variables. The probability of emigrating from a reach was positively related to intermittency (one species) and body size (one species) and negatively related to distance from the mainstem creek (two species) and habitat complexity (one species). The number of fish moving upstream through traps was positively related to increases in flow (five species), day length (three species), and water temperature (two species); the number moving through downstream traps was positively associated with increases in flow (three species). Distance moved was greater for fish moving through unsuitable reaches (one species). Floods have a pervasive effect on fish movement, and human activities that affect flows will have widespread implications. The importance of other factors varies interspecifically, which may translate into variation in persistence and colonization rates. For example, species that exhibit reach fidelity in complex habitats may increase movement if habitats are homogenized. These species may suffer population declines because of the cost of increased movement and may ultimately be replaced by ecological generalists.
Additional Publication Details
Ecological correlates of fish movement in a network of Virginia streams
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences