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Population Characteristics of Ozark Bass (Ambloplites constellatus) in the Upper White River Basin of Northern Arkansas

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DOI: 10.4236/nr.2019.105009    114 Downloads   233 Views


Ozark Bass (Ambloplites constellatus) is an understudied, endemic fish species in the Upper White River Basin of northern Arkansas. This study was part of an effort by fisheries managers to gather baseline data about the Ozark Bass to aid in understanding population dynamics and contribute to the limited data available for use in determining the efficacy of harvest regulations. Select population characteristics of Ozark Bass in two northern Arkansas streams were determined, population characteristics of Ozark Bass were compared to Shadow Bass (Ambloplites ariommus) and Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) data collected from previous studies in southern Missouri, and relative condition, length-at-age, and annual survival of Ozark Bass were compared between sample streams. Sampling occurred in Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River during summer 2013 via boat electroshocking. Length and weight data were recorded for all Ozark Bass collected, and fish ages were determined through selective otolith retrieval and age-length keys. Ozark Bass in Crooked Creek had greater relative condition than Ozark Bass in Buffalo River (P < 0.001). Neither Ozark bass lengths nor log-transformed weights differed (P > 0.05) between sexes for fish collected from only the Buffalo River. Ozark Bass mean annual survival was similar between Crooked Creek (55% ± 5% as 95% confidence interval (CI)) and the Buffalo River (50% ± 7% CI) for fish age 2 to 9. Calculated Ozark Bass lengths-at-age for fish from both streams were comparable to the Von Bertalanffy growth estimates, except the Buffalo River age 7 category where there was only one observation. The relationship between Ozark Bass age and length differed between sampled streams, and variability in growth rates and length-at-age were observed among Ambloplites species. Results of this study contribute to the understanding of the population dynamics of the Ozark Bass that will lead to improved fisheries management.

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Rodman, A. , Brye, K. , Magoulick, D. and Todd, S. (2019) Population Characteristics of Ozark Bass (Ambloplites constellatus) in the Upper White River Basin of Northern Arkansas. Natural Resources, 10, 121-138. doi: 10.4236/nr.2019.105009.

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