We examined habitat use by age-0 Lost River suckers Deltistes luxatus and shortnose suckers Chasmistes brevirostris over six substrate classes and in vegetated and nonvegetated areas of Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. We used a patch occupancy approach to model the effect of physical habitat and water quality conditions on habitat use. Our models accounted for potential inconsistencies in detection probability among sites and sampling occasions as a result of differences in fishing gear types and techniques, habitat characteristics, and age-0 fish size and abundance. Detection probability was greatest during mid- to late summer, when water temperatures were highest and age-0 suckers were the largest. The proportion of sites used by age-0 suckers was inversely related to depth (range = 0.4-3.0 m), particularly during late summer. Age-0 suckers were more likely to use habitats containing small substrate (<64 mm) than those containing large substrate (>64 mm) and habitats with vegetation than those without vegetation. Relatively narrow ranges in dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH prevented us from detecting effects of these water quality features on age-0 sucker nearshore habitat use.
Additional publication details
Age-0 Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker nearshore habitat use in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: A patch occupancy approach