Little is known about the behavior of individual fish in a spawning aggregation, specifically how long an individual remains in an aggregation. We monitored Moxostoma robustum (Cope) (Robust Redhorse) in a Savannah River spawning aggregation during spring 2004 and 2005 to provide an estimate of the total number of adults and the number of males comprising the aggregation and to determine male residence time and movements within a spawning aggregation. Robust Redhorse were captured using prepostioned grid electrofishers, identified to sex, weighed, measured, and implanted with a passive integrated transponder. Spawning aggregation size was estimated using a multiple census mark-and-recapture procedure. The spawning aggregation seemed to consist of approximately the same number of individuals (82-85) and males (50-56) during both years of this study. Individual males were present for a mean of 3.6 ?? 0.24 days (?? SE) during the 12-day spawning period. The mean distance between successive recaptures of individual males was 15.9 ?? 1.29 m (?? SE). We conclude that males establish spawning territories on a daily basis and are present within the spawning aggregation for at least 3-4 days. The relatively short duration of the aggregation may be the result of an extremely small population of adults. However, the behavior of individuals has the potential to influence population estimates made while fish are aggregated for spawning.
Additional publication details
Size of spawning population, residence time, and territory shifts of individuals in the spawning aggregation of a riverine catostomid