Aquatic vertebrate assemblages of the upper Clear Creek Watershed, California

Western North American Naturalist
By:  and 



We sampled streams in the Upper Clear Creek Watershed in northwestern California in fall 2004 and fall 2005 to document assemblages of aquatic vertebrates and to provide resource managers with information on the importance of these assemblages in terms of regional biodiversity. We used single-pass backpack electrofishing to sample 15 sites in fall 2004 and the same 15 sites plus 4 new sites in fall 2005. We captured 10 fish taxa and 2 species of larval amphibians. Seven of the fish taxa were native species. Of the exotic species, only brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) occurred at more than 1 site. Ordinations by nonmetric multidimensional scaling indicated a gradient from sites with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), and tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) to sites dominated by riffle sculpin (Cottus gulosus), California roach (Hesperoleucas symmetricus), and Sacramento sucker (Catostomus occidentalis). The gradient in species composition was associated with changes in elevation, gradient, discharge, and substrate. The Upper Clear Creek Watershed represents a unique area of overlap between the North Coast California amphibian fauna and the Central Valley fish fauna with a notable paucity of exotic fishes and amphibians. Preservation of the integrity of native aquatic assemblages is an important goal for aquatic resource management in the region; our results provide a critcial baseline to gauge future management actions.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Aquatic vertebrate assemblages of the upper Clear Creek Watershed, California
Series title Western North American Naturalist
DOI 10.3398/1527-0904(2007)67[439:AVAOTU]2.0.CO;2
Volume 67
Issue 3
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher BioOne
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 439
Last page 451
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Upper Clear Creek watershed
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