Skip Links

Scientific Investigations Report 2005—5180

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5180

Quantification of Fish Habitat in Selected Reaches of the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers, Missouri

Prepared in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation

By: David C. Heimann, Joseph M. Richards, Shannon K. Brewer, and Richard D. Norman

ABSTRACT

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, undertook a study to quantify fish habitat by using relations between streamflow and the spatial and temporal distributions of fish habitat at five sites in the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers in western Missouri. Twenty-six fish habitat categories were selected for nine species under varying seasonal (spring, summer, and fall), diel (summer day and night), and life-stage (spawning, juvenile, and adult) conditions. Physical habitat characteristics were determined for each category using depth, velocity, and channel substrate criteria. Continuous streamflow data were then combined with the habitat-streamflow relations to compile a habitat time series for each habitat category at each site.

Fish habitat categories were assessed as to their vulnerability to habitat alteration based on critical life stages (spawning and juvenile rearing periods) and susceptibility to habitat limitations from dewatering or high flows. Species categories representing critical life stages with physical habitat limitations represent likely bottlenecks in fish populations. Categories with potential bottlenecks can serve as indicator categories and aid managers when determining the flows necessary for maintaining these habitats under altered flow regimes.

The relation between the area of each habitat category and streamflow differed greatly between category, season, and stream reach. No single flow maximized selected habitat area for all categories or even for all species/category within a particular season at a site. However, some similarities were noted among habitat characteristics, including the streamflow range for which habitat availability is maximized and the range of streamflows for which a habitat category area is available at the Marmaton River sites.

A monthly habitat time series was created for all 26 habitat categories at two Marmaton River sites. A daily habitat time series was created at three Marais des Cygnes River sites for two periods: 1941 through 1963 (pre-regulation) and 1982 through 2003 (post-regulation). The habitat category with the highest median area in spring was paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) with normalized areas of up to 2,000 square meters per 100 meters of stream channel. Flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) habitat area generally was the category area most available in summer and fall. Differences in daily selected habitat area time series between pre- and post-regulation time periods varied by species/category and by site. For instance, whereas there was a decline in the distribution of spring spawning habitat for suckermouth minnow (Phenacobius mirabilis) and slenderhead darter (Percina phoxocephala) from pre- to post-regulation periods at all three sites, the 25 to 75 percentile habitat area substantially increased for paddlefish under post-regulation conditions.

Potential habitat area for most species was maximized at the Marmaton River sites at flows of about 1 to 10 cubic meters per second, whereas median monthly streamflows ranged from less than 1 to 20 cubic meters per second depending on site and season. Paddlefish habitat was available beginning at higher flows than other categories (4 to 7 cubic meters per second) and also maximized at higher flows (greater than 50 to 100 cubic meters per second). Selected potential habitat area was maximized for most species at the Marais des Cygnes River sites at flows of about 1 to 50 cubic meters per second, whereas median monthly streamflows ranged from 4 to 55 cubic meters per second depending on site and season.

The range of streamflows for which selected habitat area was available in summer and fall was substantially less at the channelized Marais des Cygnes River site when compared to the non-channelized sites, and, therefore, the susceptibility of categories to high-flow habitat limitations was greater at this site. The channelized reach was more uniform and had a greater conveyance as a result of the greater slope, and, therefore, category criteria were exceeded at lower flows.

The susceptibility of fish habitat to dewatering varied by species, site, and season, but generally habitats for slenderhead darter, stonecat (Noturus flavus), and paddlefish were the most susceptible to habitat limitation at flows less than 1 cubic meter per second. Red shiner (Notropis lutrensis) and sand shiner (Notropis stramineus) habitat areas were the least susceptible to low flows. Habitat was limited for most species, other than paddlefish, at streamflows greater than 20 to 30 cubic meters per second at the Marmaton River sites. At the Marais des Cygnes River sites, the susceptibility of categories to habitat limitations at high streamflows varied greatly from streamflows greater than 100 cubic meters per second at the channelized site to greater than 800 cubic meters per second at an upstream non-channelized site.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Objective

Description of Study Area

Purpose and Scope

Acknowledgements

Methods

Numerical Simulation of Hydraulic Characteristics

Finite-Element Mesh

Topography

Hydrology

Model Calibration, Validation, and Sensitivity

Sources of Error

Substrate Mapping

Fish Habitat Categories

Fish Habitat Characteristics

Quantification of Fish Habitat

Simulated Hydraulic Characteristics

Substrate

Fish Habitat Characteristics

Habitat Availability

Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Habitat

Spatial Distribution and Persistence

Temporal Distribution

Implications for Fishery-Community Management

Summary and Conclusions

References

Appendixes

1–5. Spatial distribution of fish habitat area by category and streamflow for:

1. Marmaton River site M1

2. Marmaton River site M2

3. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

4. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2

5. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3

Figures

1. Map showing location of study sites

2–6. Photographs showing the:

2. Marmaton River site M1, September 2004

3. Marmaton River site M2, September 2003

4. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1, July 2003

5. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2, July 2002

6. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3, July 2002

7. Finite-element mesh, bed roughness, measured topographic data points, and bed elevation at the Marmaton River site M1

8. Finite-element mesh, bed roughness, and bed elevation at the Marmaton River site M2

9. Finite-element mesh, bed roughness, measured topographic data points, and bed elevation at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

10. Finite-element mesh, bed roughness, and bed elevation at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2

11. Finite-element mesh, bed roughness, and bed elevation at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3

12–13. Graphs showing sensitivity of simulated velocity, depth, and water-surface elevations to changes in:

12. Bed roughness height at flows of 2.01 and 48.7 cubic meters per second at the Marmaton River site M2

13. Eddy viscosity bed shear parameter at flows of 2.01 and 48.7 cubic meters per second at the Marmaton River site M2

14. Graphs showing distribution of measured (available) velocities and depths and those used by the orangespotted sunfish

15–19. Maps showing spatial distribution of velocity and depth at the:

15. Marmaton River site M1 for flows of 0.260, 1.22, and 11.0 cubic meters per second

16. Marmaton River site M2 for flows of 0.250, 0.620, and 9.74 cubic meters per second

17. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1 for flows of 1.01, 8.78, and 116 cubic meters per second

18. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2 for flows of 1.01, 9.91, and 122 cubic meters per second

19. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3 for flows of 1.01, 10.9, and 116 cubic meters per second

20–24. Maps showing spatial distribution of channel substrate materials at the:

20. Marmaton River site M1, August 2004

21. Marmaton River site M2, August 2004

22. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1, September 2004

23. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2, September 2004

24. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3, September 2004

25–29. Graphs showing relation between normalized selected habitat area and monthly streamflow distribution for spring, summer day and night, and fall conditions at the:

25. Marmaton River site M1

26. Marmaton River site M2

27. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

28. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2

29. Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3

30–34. Graphs showing median normalized selected habitat area:

30. Monthly time series for habitat categories at the Marmaton River site M1, 1971–2003

31. Monthly time series for habitat categories at the Marmaton River site M2, 1971–2003

32. Daily time series for habitat categories at the Marais des Cygnes site MDC1, 1941–1963 and 1982–2003

33. Daily time series for habitat categories at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2, 1941–1963 and 1982–2003

34. Daily time series for habitat categories at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3, 1941–1963 and 1982–2003

35–40. Graphs showing summary distributions of:

35. Monthly habitat area time series at the Marmaton River site M1, 1971–2003

36. Monthly habitat area time series at the Marmaton River site M2, 1971–2003

37. Daily habitat area time series at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1, 1941–1963 and 1982–2003

38. Daily habitat area time series at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2, 1941–1963 and 1982–2003

39. Daily habitat area time series at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3, 1941–1963 and 1982–2003

40. Graphs showing selected habitat area by category, streamflow, season, and study site

Tables

1. Location and characteristics of study sites

2. Selected continuous streamflow gaging stations in the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes River Basins and period of record used

3. Input data for the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes River study reach simulations

4. Calibration and validation error results for measured and simulated hydraulic properties at selected scenario streamflows

5. Channel-bed elevation errors associated with stream model mesh interpolations at each study site

6. Fish habitat categories used in the determination of selected habitat area for the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes River study sites

7. Variability in nodal depths and velocities for selected streamflows at the Marais des Cygnes River study sites

8. Characteristics of selected habitat area by simulation streamflow and habitat category at Marmaton River site M1

9. Characteristics of selected habitat area by simulation streamflow and habitat category at Marmaton River site M2

10. Comparison of 1941 through 1963 and 1982 through 2003 streamflow statistics at the Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

11. Characteristics of selected habitat area by simulation streamflow and habitat category at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

12. Characteristics of selected habitat area by simulation streamflow and habitat category at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2

13. Characteristics of selected habitat area by simulation streamflow and habitat category at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3

14. Habitat persistence by streamflow and habitat category for Marmaton River site M1

15. Habitat persistence by streamflow and habitat category for Marmaton River site M2

16. Habitat persistence by streamflow and habitat category for Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

17. Habitat persistence by streamflow and habitat category for Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2

18. Habitat persistence by streamflow and habitat category for Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3

19. Distribution of monthly habitat time-series values by habitat category at Marmaton River site M1, 1971–2003

20. Distribution of monthly habitat time-series values by habitat category at Marmaton River site M2, 1971–2003

21. Distribution of daily habitat time-series values by habitat category for 1941 through 1963 and 1982 through 2003 at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1

22. Distribution of daily habitat time-series values by habitat category for 1941 through 1963 and 1982 through 2003 at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC2

23. Distribution of daily habitat time-series values by habitat category for 1941 through 1963 and 1982 through 2003 at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC3

24. Range of flows beyond which selected habitat area is limited for seasonal indicator species for the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers

Film

1. Temporal distribution of selected fish habitat area for slenderhead darter and paddlefish at Marais des Cygnes River site MDC1 for May 3 to May 20, 1996

Conversion Factors and Datum

Multiply By To obtain
  Length  
     
centimeter (cm) 0.3937 inch (in.)
millimeter (mm) 0.03937 inch (in.)
meter (m) 3.281 foot (ft)
kilometer (km) 0.6214 mile (mi)
meter (m) 1.094 yard (yd)
     
  Area  
     
square meter (m2) 0.0002471 acre
hectare (ha) 2.471 acre
square meter (m2) 10.76 square foot (ft2)
hectare (ha) 0.003861 square mile (mi2)
square kilometer (km2) 0.3861 square mile (mi2)
     
  Volume  
     
cubic meter (m3) 6.290 barrel (petroleum, 1 barrel = 42 gal)
cubic meter (m3) 264.2 gallon (gal)
cubic meter (m3) 0.0002642 million gallons (Mgal)
cubic meter (m3) 35.31 cubic foot (ft3)
cubic meter (m3) 1.308 cubic yard (yd3)
cubic meter (m3) 0.0008107 acre-foot (acre-ft)
     
 

 

Flow rate

 
cubic meter per second (m3/s) 70.07 acre-foot per day (acre-ft/d)
meter per second (m/s) 3.281 foot per second (ft/s)
cubic meter per second (m3/s) 35.31 cubic foot per second (ft3/s)
cubic meter per second per square kilometer [(m3/s)/km2] 91.49 cubic foot per second per square mile [(ft3/s)/mi2]
cubic meter per day per square kilometer [(m3/d)/km2] 684.28 gallon per day per square mile [(gal/d)/mi2]
cubic meter per second (m3/s) 22.83 million gallons per day (Mgal/d)
     

Vertical coordinate information is referenced to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88).

Horizontal coordinate information is referenced by the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

 

 


This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

The entire report is available or for faster loading portions of the report can be viewed separately.

View entire report in PDF format (3.22 MB)

 

Files included on CD-ROM in report:

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

Appendix 5

Figures

Tables

Film-Temporal distribution of selected fish habitat area for slenderhead darter and paddlefish at Marais des Cygnes River Site MDC1 for May 3 to May 20, 1996 (.avi file format7.66 MB)

 

 

Document Accessibility:  Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

For more information about USGS activities in Missouri contact:

Director

U.S. Geological Survey

Missouri Water Science Center

1400 Independence Road

Rolla, Missouri 65401

Telephone: (573) 308-3667

Fax: (573) 308-3645


or access the USGS Missouri Water Science Center home page at:  http://mo.water.usgs.gov/.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Last modified: Thursday, December 01 2016, 06:52:44 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button