Flooding can benefit native fishes in southwestern streams by disproportionately displacing nonnative fishes. We examined how the presence of an upstream impoundment affected this relationship in lower Sonoita Creek, Arizona. Nonnative species not found in the reservoir decreased in abundance in lower Sonoita Creek after flooding. The catch and relative abundance of some nonnative species found in both the reservoir and the creek increased in lower Sonoita Creek after flooding. Movement of nonnative fishes out of the reservoir via the spillway during periods of high water probably contributes to the persistence and abundance of these species downstream. Both preventing nonnative fishes from escaping reservoirs and the release of flushing flows would aid conservation of native southwestern fishes downstream.
Additional publication details
Effects of flooding on abundance of native and nonnative fishes downstream from a small impoundment