Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Open-File Report 2011-1017


Relative Abundance and Distribution of Fishes and Crayfish at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nye County, Nevada, 2007–08

By G. Gary Scoppettone, Peter Rissler, Danielle Johnson, and Mark Hereford

ABSTRACT

This study provides baseline data of native and non-native fish populations in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Nye County, Nevada, that can serve as a gauge in native fish enhancement efforts. In support of Carson Slough restoration, comprehensive surveys of Ash Meadows NWR fishes were conducted seasonally from fall 2007 through summer 2008. A total of 853 sampling stations were created using Geographic Information Systems and National Agricultural Imagery Program. In four seasons of sampling, Amargosa pupfish (genus Cyprinodon) was captured at 388 of 659 stations. The number of captured Amargosa pupfish ranged from 5,815 (winter 2008) to 8,346 (summer 2008). The greatest success in capturing Amargosa pupfish was in warm water spring-pools with temperature greater than 25°C, headwaters of warm water spring systems, and shallow (depths less than 10 centimeters) grassy marshes. In four seasons of sampling, Ash Meadows speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus nevadesis) was captured at 96 of 659 stations. The number of captured Ash Meadows speckled dace ranged from 1,009 (summer 2008) to 1,552 (winter 2008). The greatest success in capturing Ash Meadows speckled dace was in cool water spring-pools with temperature less than 20°C and in the high flowing water outflows. Among 659 sampling stations within the range of Amargosa pupfish, red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) was collected at 458 stations, western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) at 374 stations, and sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna) at 128 stations. School Springs was restored during the course of this study. Prior to restoration of School Springs, maximum Warm Springs Amargosa pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis pectoralis) captured from the six springs of the Warm Springs Complex was 765 (fall 2007). In four seasons of sampling, Warm Springs Amargosa pupfish were captured at 85 of 177 stations. The greatest success in capturing Warm Springs Amargosa pupfish when co-occurring with red swamp crayfish and western mosquitofish was in water with temperature greater than 26°C near the springhead, and in shallow (depths less than 10 centimeters) grassy marshes. Among 177 sampling stations within the range of Warm Springs Amargosa pupfish, red swamp crayfish were collected at 96 stations and western mosquitofish were collected at 49 stations. Removal of convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) from Fairbanks Spring was followed by a substantial increase in Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes) captures from 910 pre-removal to 3,056 post-removal. Red swamp crayfish was continually removed from Bradford 1 Spring, which seemed to cause an increase in the speckled dace population. Restoration of Kings Pool and Jackrabbit Springs promoted the success of native fishes with the greatest densities in restored reaches. Ongoing restoration of Carson Slough and its tributaries, as well as control and elimination of invasive species, is expected to increase abundance and distribution of Ash Meadows’ native fish populations. Further analysis of data from this study will help determine the habitat characteristic(s) that promote native species and curtail non-native species.

First posted January 14, 2011

For additional information contact:
Director, Western Fisheries Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey
6505 NE 65th Street
Seattle, Washington 98115
http://wfrc.usgs.gov

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.


Suggested citation:

Scoppettone, G.G., Rissler, Peter, Johnson, Danielle, and Hereford, Mark, 2011, Relative abundance and distribution of fishes and crayfish at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nye County, Nevada, 2007–08: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1017, 56 p.



Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Background

Results

Discussion

Acknowledgments

References Cited

Appendix A. Seasonal Distributions of Fishes and Crayfish at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

Appendix B. Seasonal Distributions of Fishes and Crayfish at Warm Springs Complex, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

Appendix C. Seasonal Distributions of Fishes and Crayfish in Southern Springs, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1017/
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, December 07, 2016, 11:32:43 PM