Characterizing lentic freshwater fish assemblages using multiple sampling methods

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
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Abstract

Characterizing fish assemblages in lentic ecosystems is difficult, and multiple sampling methods are almost always necessary to gain reliable estimates of indices such as species richness. However, most research focused on lentic fish sampling methodology has targeted recreationally important species, and little to no information is available regarding the influence of multiple methods and timing (i.e., temporal variation) on characterizing entire fish assemblages. Therefore, six lakes and impoundments (48–1,557 ha surface area) were sampled seasonally with seven gear types to evaluate the combined influence of sampling methods and timing on the number of species and individuals sampled. Probabilities of detection for species indicated strong selectivities and seasonal trends that provide guidance on optimal seasons to use gears when targeting multiple species. The evaluation of species richness and number of individuals sampled using multiple gear combinations demonstrated that appreciable benefits over relatively few gears (e.g., to four) used in optimal seasons were not present. Specifically, over 90 % of the species encountered with all gear types and season combinations (N = 19) from six lakes and reservoirs were sampled with nighttime boat electrofishing in the fall and benthic trawling, modified-fyke, and mini-fyke netting during the summer. Our results indicated that the characterization of lentic fish assemblages was highly influenced by the selection of sampling gears and seasons, but did not appear to be influenced by waterbody type (i.e., natural lake, impoundment). The standardization of data collected with multiple methods and seasons to account for bias is imperative to monitoring of lentic ecosystems and will provide researchers with increased reliability in their interpretations and decisions made using information on lentic fish assemblages.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Characterizing lentic freshwater fish assemblages using multiple sampling methods
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
DOI 10.1007/s10661-014-3711-z
Volume 186
Issue 7
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 14 p.
First page 4461
Last page 4474
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N