Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506-3501
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Recruitment of Fishes in the Kansas River

Investigators
Joe Gerken, Ph.D. student
Dr. Craig Paukert

Project Supervisor
Dr. Craig Paukert


Funding
Kansas State University
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
Cooperators
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
Status
Completed
Completion
December 2012
Location
Kansas River in eastern Kansas
 
Objectives
Identify the biological and environmental factors that influence recruitment in the Kansas River.
Determine if year class strength of selected fishes is related to river flows, and if year class strength is consistent throughout the Kansas River.
Make recommendations of the conditions (flows) suitable for recruitment of large river fish.
Progress and Results
Large rivers in Kansas have been severely altered by habitat modification, altered hydrology, channelization, dam construction, pollution, and many fish species are declining because of these alterations. Recruitment is a critical factor in large river fishes because anthropogenic influences can destroy of modify spawning and juvenile rearing habitat (e.g. backwaters), block fish migrations, or otherwise limit recruitment. In addition, biotic factors such as predation, food availability, or competition may affect recruitment. Therefore, research to determine factors that influence recruitment of riverine fishes would aid managers in determining the critical factors that limit recruitment to possible mitigation or conservation efforts (e.g., habitat enhancements, minimum flow requirements, modifications of reservoir operations) that would help native river fishes.
This project began in January 2008 and will continue with at least three field seasons of fish sampling. Joe Gerken was selected at the Ph.D. student on the project and began in January 2008

Products:
White, K., J. Gerken, C. Paukert, and A. Makinster. In press. Fish community structure in natural and engineered habitats in the Kansas River. River Research and Applications.

Gerken, J. E., and C. P. Paukert. 2010. Fish recruitment in the Kansas River: the role of flow, habitat, and urbanization. Kansas Natural Resources Conference, Wichita, KS.

Gerken, J., and C. Paukert. 2010. Floods and fishes: examining the role of high flows on fish and invertebrates in a large Great Plains River. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, St. Paul, MN.

Gerken, J., and C. Paukert. 2010. Testing the flood pulse concept: The importance of floodplain inundation on fish and invertebrates of a Great Plains river. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

Gerken, J., and C. Paukert. 2011. The importance of high flows and floodplain inundation for fish and invertebrates of the Kansas River. Kansas Natural Resources Conference, Wichita, KS.

Paukert, C. and J. Gerken. 2010. The Importance of secondary channels to mainchannel fishes in the Kansas River. Big River Confab, Jefferson City, MO.

White, K., J. Gerken, C. Paukert, and A. Makinster. 2010. Fish community structure in natural and engineered habitats in the Kansas River. Kansas Natural Resources Conference, Wichita, KS.