Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus maculosus ) spatial distribution, breeding water depth, and use of artificial spawning habitat in the Detroit River

Herpetological Conservation and Biology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus maculosus) populations have been declining in the Great Lakes region of North America. However, during fisheries assessments in the Detroit River, we documented Mudpuppy reproduction when we collected all life stages from egg through adult as by-catch in fisheries assessments. Ten years of fisheries sampling resulted in two occurrences of Mudpuppy egg collection and 411 Mudpuppies ranging in size from 37–392 mm Total Length, collected from water 3.5–15.1 m deep. Different types of fisheries gear collected specific life stages; spawning females used cement structures for egg deposition, larval Mudpuppies found refuge in eggmats, and we caught adults with baited setlines and minnow traps. Based on logistic regression models for setlines and minnow traps, there was a higher probability of catching adult Mudpuppies at lower temperatures and in shallower water with reduced clarity. In addition to documenting the presence of all life stages of this sensitive species in a deep and fast-flowing connecting channel, we were also able to show that standard fisheries research equipment can be used for Mudpuppy research in areas not typically sampled in herpetological studies. Our observations show that typical fisheries assessments and gear can play an important role in data collection for Mudpuppy population and spawning assessments.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus maculosus ) spatial distribution, breeding water depth, and use of artificial spawning habitat in the Detroit River
Series title Herpetological Conservation and Biology
Volume 10
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
Publisher location Texarkana, TX
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 926
Last page 934
Country Canada, United States
State Michigan, Ontario
Other Geospatial Detroit River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N