Fish Communities of the Vermilion River Watershed: Comparison of the Main Channel and Tributaries
Creators:Heithaus, Michael R.
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v97, n5 (December, 1997), 98-102
The Vermilion River watershed was the focus of a fish community survey from October 1995 through May 1996. Fish communities were sampled with a backpack electrofisher and a kick seine. A total of 8,005 individuals were collected representing 9 families, 49 species and at least 2 hybrids. Stoneroller minnows (Campostoma anomalum) were the most abundant species in the main channel followed by bluntnose minnows (Pimephales notatus), rainbow darters (Etheostoma caeruleum), then striped shiners (Notropis chryocephalus). Tributaries were dominated by creek chubs (Semotilis atromaculatus^, stoneroller minnows, and bluntnose minnows. Fish species richness was greater in the main channel than in tributaries. Also, there were greater proportions of insectivorous fishes and species intolerant and moderately intolerant to pollution in the main channel. Generalists and pollution tolerant species dominated the tributaries. This pattern illustrates the importance of considering data from these habitats separately when attempting to assess the quality of fish communities or develop management strategies.
Author Institution: Lorain County Metro Parks, LaGrange, OH
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