Relative Abundance and Habitat Used by Macrhybopsis spp. (M. hyostoma, M. meeki, and M. gelida) in the Lower Missouri River
Bounds, Justin G.
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The shoal chub (Macrhybopsis hyostoma), sicklefin chub (M. meeki), and sturgeon chub (M. gelida) are small-bodied benthic specialists whose traditional native range encompassed the majority of the Missouri River. Biologists have observed population declines of Macrhybopsis chubs occurring concurrent with river modifications, as they have for many other fish species native to the Missouri River. This study uses a stratified random design to describe species composition and analyze catch per unit of effort (CPUE) values across a number of habitat parameters between two sampling reaches in the Lower Missouri River. While the relative abundance between sampling reaches varied, little significance was observed when comparing CPUE’s. Although depth and flow velocity varied significantly between sampling reaches, channel modifying structure (CMS) type seems to have the greatest impact on CPUE values both for species as a whole as well as for 10 mm length groupings of individuals within a species. The analysis shows that for a holistic management strategy to be achieved, the age (size) based shift in habitat selection from L and wing dikes to channel sandbars and rootless dikes should be considered.