We compared gonadosomatic index (GSI) and histological analysis of ovaries for identifying reproductive periods of fishes to determine the validity of using GSI in future studies. Four small-bodied riverine species were examined in our comparison of the two methods. Mean GSI was significantly different between all histological stages for suckermouth minnow and red shiner. Mean GSI was significantly different between most stages for slenderhead darter; whereas stages 3 and 6 were not significantly different, the time period when these stages are present would allow fisheries biologists to distinguish between the two stages. Mean GSI was not significantly different for many histological stages in stonecat. Difficulties in distinguishing between histological stages and GSI associated with stonecat illustrate potential problems obtaining appropriate sample sizes from species that move to alternative habitats to spawn. We suggest that GSI would be a useful tool in identifying mature ovaries in many small-bodied, multiple-spawning fishes. This information could be combined with data from histology during mature periods to pinpoint specific spawning events. ?? 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard.
Additional Publication Details
Comparing histology and gonadosomatic index for determining spawning condition of small-bodied riverine fishes