Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
1999 Report of Region 6 - Southwest
The Fish Team at the Waterways Experiment Station - Jack Killgore, Jan Hoover, Phil Kirk, Steven George, and Bradley Lewis have been active as usual. Neil Douglas, Northeast Louisiana University, conducts fieldwork with the team, and catalogs and curates all specimens collected (NLU Museum of Zoology). Two student team members, Reid Adams and Jim Morrow, recently graduated from the University of Mississippi. Reid is now studying at Southern Illinois University and Jim has started his own consulting firm. Experimental habitat restoration techniques are under study by Jack, Steven, and Bradley. At Cypress Bayou, TX (Red River Drainage), effects of controlled water releases on spawning are being evaluated. Spring-summer hydrographs are varied each year; abundance, diversity, and chronology of larval fishes are documented so that water releases providing maximum benefits to fishes may be identified. Swimming performance studies of several fishes in laboratory streams were conducted this summer by Reid, Jan, and Jack. These included the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and the Eurasian round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Swimming endurance models were developed, and station-holding behaviors described, for both species. Studies provided insights into microhabitats likely to be inhabited by pallid sturgeon and of the possible containment of round goby dispersal. Model hydraulic barriers were created and installed in a circular laboratory racetrack by Bradley, and effects on containment of goby monitored by videography. Results indicated that low water velocities provided nearly 100% short-term containment of the goby. Morphological variation in chondrosteans is being studied by Steven. Ontogenetic variation in rostrum dimensions of paddlefish from the Big Sunflower River (Yazoo River Drainage) is described in a recently completed study. Ontogenetic and interspecific variation in morphometrics are being evaluated for lower Mississippi River Basin shovelnose and pallid sturgeons. Recent acquisition of some juvenile pallid sturgeons from Upper Missouri-Yellowstone, Lower Missouri, and Lower Mississippi-Atchafalaya hatcheries will allow some evaluation of intraspecific variation among populations.
Christine Davis (Northeast Louisiana University) is studying age, growth and reproduction of the scaly sand darter, Etheostoma vivax in a Gulf coastal plain watershed. Brian Hooper (NLU) is examining proportional stock density of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides in Black Bayou Lake, an urban NWR. Continuing studies on gobioid fishes at NLU are fast making it the Sleeper Center of the Southeast. Taking a cue from his student, Bryan Cage, who is finishing his thesis reviewing Eleotris from the eastern Pacific, F. Pezold is pushing his work on the Atlantic Eleotris to completion, typing the final draft of a revision of Gobionellus that includes a key to all the species being removed to Ctenogobius (most of them), finishing a revision of Oxyurichthys this summer with visiting scholar and gobiologist, Helen Larson of the Northern Territory Museum, Australia (one species occurs in marine waters off the SE US- Oxyurichthys stigmalophius) and starting a revision of Dormitator with Mike Taylor of Tulane.