Fish assemblages were systematically sampled along the transition from channelized to unchannelized reaches in seven streams in northern Missouri, USA. Streams ranged in size from 4th to 8th order and were located in the Central Dissected Till Plains including the Grand, Chariton, Salt, and Fabius watersheds. Maximum species richness was reached 3-5 km downstream from the end of channelization. A limited core group of 10 species was present at most of the sites (channelized and unchannelized locations), and a diverse group of 45 species was present at relatively few sites (rarely channelized locations). The core group consisted largely of tolerant, omnivorous species and contained no top carnivores. The 45-species diverse group included a greater proportion of intolerant, benthic invertivorous, lithophilous, and carnivorous species. The effect of channelization extended well into unchannelized reaches and should be considered by conservation planners.
Additional publication details
Recovery of Prairie Fish Assemblages at the Transition from Channelized to Nonchannelized: Implications for Conservation of Natural Channels