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Fish communities and their relation to physical and chemical characteristics of streams from selected environmental settings in the Lower Susquehanna River basin, 1993-95

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4004

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Abstract

Studies of fish-community composition were conducted annually in selected reaches (from 100 to 303 meters in length) on seven streams from June 1993 to June 1995 within the Lower Susquehanna River Basin. In 1994, additional reaches were selected on three of the streams, resulting in a total of 28 samples. The study reaches were selected on the basis of type of bedrock and land use/land cover; the major emphasis was on agricultural land use or areas in transition from agricultural to commercial, industrial, and residential land uses. At each reach, environmental characteristics consisting of instream and riparian habitat conditions, hydrology, and water quality were determined. The relation of fish communities at these reaches to physical and chemical characteristics of streams was analyzed to determine if the fish communities differed temporally or spatially. Data were analyzed by parametric and multivariate techniques. During the course of the study, a total of 33,143 fish were collected, consisting of 39 species representing 8 families. Cyprinidae (minnows) were dominant with 17 species, followed by Centrarchidae (sunfishes) with 7 species and Percidae (perches and darters) with 4 species. Three species?blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus), white sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and the sculpins (Cottus spp)?accounted for 49 percent of the total fish collected. The environmental variables most closely related to the fish communities present at the reaches were mean channel width, mean water temperature, mean canopy angle, and suspended-sediment concentrations. These variables accounted for about 79 percent of the variation in the environmental-species relation. Channel width and mean water temperature are correlated with stream size variables. The stream size gradient is the most influential variable to the fish communities studied in the Lower Susquehanna River Basin.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Fish communities and their relation to physical and chemical characteristics of streams from selected environmental settings in the Lower Susquehanna River basin, 1993-95
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
98-4004
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1998
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Description:
vii, 34 p. :ill., col. map ;28 cm.