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Relations between hydrological variables and year-class strength of sportfish in eight Florida waterbodies
 

Summary: Relations between hydrological variables and year-class strength of sportfish
in eight Florida waterbodies
Timothy F. Bonvechio & Micheal S. Allen
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, 7922 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA
Received 10 December 2003; in revised form 18 March 2004; accepted 24 May 2004
Key words: hydrology, residuals, floodplain, Micropterus spp., Lepomis spp.
Abstract
Hydrological variables have influenced fish recruitment in lakes, reservoirs and rivers. We evaluated how
annual and seasonal hydrological variables were related to year-class strength (i.e., residuals from catch
curves) of sportfish across eight Florida waterbodies (four rivers and four lakes). Multiple regression
equations computed for black bass Micropterus spp. were combined across rivers and year-class strength
was negatively related to spring median flow rates and in some cases positively related to winter median flow
rates (all p 0.10). Conversely, Lepomis spp. residuals combined from the rivers indicated that year-class
strength was positively related to median flow rates in the fall prior to spawning and negatively related to
post-spawn fall median flow rates (all p 0.10). Fish recruitment combined across lakes were not related to
water levels in this study, although within lake relationships did occur in some instances. Ecological
implications of this work include regulations such as minimum flows and levels (MFLs) regarding sportfish
species. Impacts of hydrology on year-class strength of sportfish were stronger in rivers than in lakes for
these Florida systems. High flows at least once every 3 years in the fall may allow inundation of floodplain
habitat, providing favorable environmental conditions for Lepomis spp. reproduction. Setting MFLs during

  

Source: Allen, Micheal S. - Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology