We investigated the effects of constructed instream structures on movements and demographics of bluehead suckers Catostomus discobolus, flannelmouth suckers C. latipinnis, and roundtail chub Gila robusta in the upstream portion of Muddy Creek, an isolated headwater stream system in the upper Colorado River basin of Wyoming. Our objectives were to (1) evaluate upstream and downstream movements of these three native species past a small dam built to divert irrigation water from the stream and a barrier constructed to prevent upstream movements of nonnative salmonids and (2) describe population characteristics in stream segments created by these structures. Our results indicated that upstream and downstream movements of the three target fishes were common. Fish of all three species moved frequently downstream over both structures, displayed some upstream movements over the irrigation diversion dam, and did not move upstream over the fish barrier. Spawning migrations by some fish into an intermittent tributary, which was not separated from Muddy Creek by a barrier, were observed for all three species. Both the irrigation diversion dam and the fish barrier contributed to fragmentation of the native fish populations, and considerable differences in population features were observed among segments. The instream structures may eventually cause extirpation of some native species in one or more of the segments created by the structures. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.
Additional publication details
Influences of fragmentation on three species of native warmwater fishes in a Colorado River Basin headwater stream system, Wyoming