Distribution and abundance of three endemic fishes in shoals of the upper Flint River system
Marcinek, Paula A.
Freeman, Mary C.
Freeman, Byron J.
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Many shoal habitats in the Piedmont of Georgia have been destroyed by reservoir construction, and the remaining are still threatened. To understand relations between aquatic biota and habitat conditions in shoals, we estimated fish densities in shoals differing in physical characteristics (e.g. size and bed material) throughout a 50 km reach of the upper Flint River (Meriwether, Pike, Upson, and Talbot counties) during 2001 and 2002. Our surveys show that the Flint shoal fauna includes five fishes endemic to the Apalachicola River system, and that abundances of at least three of the endemic fishes (Halloween darter – Percina sp., bluestripe shiner – Cyprinella callitaenia , shoal bass – Micropterus cataractae) vary substantially among shoals. We are using fish abundance and associated habitat data to build models useful for predicting effects of flow alteration on endemic fishes in the upper Flint River.