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Distribution and relative abundance of fishes in littoral areas of Chief Joseph Reservoir, Columbia River

Northwest Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

We surveyed fish assemblages in littoral areas of Chief Joseph Reservoir of the upper Columbia River to aid in understanding this ecosystem. Fish distributions and abundances were examined during April-July 1999 in relation to environmental conditions in the reservoir. We also compared the fish assemblages in Chief Joseph reservoir in 1999 to a past study conducted during 1974-1975, and to assemblages in other areas of the Columbia River. During 67 hr of electrofishing and 78 beach seine hauls in Chief Joseph Reservoir, 7460 fishes representing 8 families were collected. The majority of the catch was native – northern pikeminnow; redside shiners; longnose, bridgelip, and largescale suckers; and sculpins. The most abundant introduced species was walleye, and one species, rainbow trout, was mostly of net-pen origin. Larger sizes of suckers and northern pikeminnow were most abundant in the upper reservoir, likely due to upstream spawning migrations. The lower reservoir contained greater abundances of smaller fishes, and this area had lower flows, smaller substrates, and more complex shorelines that offered these fishes refugia. Only adult suckers displayed significant differences in abundances related to substrate. The relative abundances of species appeared to have changed since the 1970s, when the dominant fishes were northern pikeminnow, peamouth, largescale suckers, and walleye. Fish assemblage differences between Chief Joseph Reservoir and lower Columbia River reservoirs were also evident due to the morphology of the reservoir, its more northerly location, and the lack of fish passage facilities at Chief Joseph Dam. Our study is one of the few descriptions of fishes in the upper Columbia Rivers.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Distribution and relative abundance of fishes in littoral areas of Chief Joseph Reservoir, Columbia River
Series title Northwest Science
Volume 78
Issue 1
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Northwest Scientific Association
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 48
Last page 58
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Chief Joseph Reservoir