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Factors influencing poststocking dispersal of razorback sucker

North American Journal of Fisheries Management

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https://doi.org/10.1577/1548-8675(2003)023<0270:FIPDOR>2.0.CO;2

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Abstract

Efforts to reintroduce razorback suckers Xyrauchen texanus to specific river reaches have been plagued by downstream drift and poor survival, which have been attributed to stress, disorientation, predation, and poor conditioning. Poststocking dispersal of eight test groups (15 fish each) of razorback suckers was examined for 28 d with telemetry equipment. Fish were released in three different locations in the Colorado River basin of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada: (1) a 65,000-ha reservoir, (2) a small (<1-ha) backwater, and (3) a large (30-ha) backwater on the mainstem river. At each location, subgroups were released immediately (reference) or held to acclimate them to the site (3–7 d) before release. Two of four subgroups for the large-backwater test were preconditioned to flow. Dispersal from the stocking sites was rapid and declined with time for all tests, as fish appeared to seek and find cover. Downstream drift was most pronounced (x = 69.5 km) from the small backwater and significantly (Kruskal–Wallis test, P < 0.01) greater than either the reservoir (x = 3.7 km) or large-backwater sites (x = 7.7 km). Site-acclimation tests were inconclusive, but downstream movement was significantly (Wilcoxon two-sample test, Z = −2.298, P < 0.01) less for fish preconditioned to flow (x = 1.9 km) compared with pond-reared fish (x = 7.7 km). We concluded that poststocking dispersal may decrease if razorback suckers are preconditioned to flow.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Factors influencing poststocking dispersal of razorback sucker
Series title:
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI:
10.1577/1548-8675(2003)023<0270:FIPDOR>2.0.CO;2
Volume:
23
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
6 p.
First page:
270
Last page:
275