We used microsatellite DNA markers to test whether fragmentation of the Trent River (Ontario, Canada) has reduced genetic diversity and increased genetic differentiation among populations of river redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) and shorthead redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum). Allelic richness of both species was significantly greater along the free-flowing Muskegon River (Michigan, USA) than along the fragmented Trent River. Contrary to expectations, there was no evidence of a fragment length effect on genetic diversity, recent population bottlenecks, or increased relatedness among individuals in fragmented populations. High levels of linkage disequilibrium indicate extinction-recolonization population dynamics along the Trent River. For both species, pairwise FST tests identified weak but statistically significant population differentiation. In the Trent River, differentiation was significantly greater for river redhorse than for shorthead redhorse and, for both species, greater than in the Muskegon River. Moderate fragmentation effects likely reflect the permeability of the dam-lock system to redhorse movement. Differences between species indicate that as a result of smaller effective population sizes, habitat specialists and species at the periphery of their geographic range are more sensitive to river fragmentation. ?? 2008 NRC.