Recovery of three fish species to flood and seasonal drying in a tallgrass prairie stream

TitleRecovery of three fish species to flood and seasonal drying in a tallgrass prairie stream
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsFritz, KM, Tripe, JA, Guy, CS
JournalTransactions of the Kansas Academy of Science
Pagination209 -218
Accession NumberKNZ00837
Keywordstallgrass prairie

The recovery of three fish species following a catastrophic flood (>50 y recurrence interval) and seasonal drying were studied in Kings Creek basin at the Konza Prairie Biological Station in northeastern Kansas. Fish collected from three tallgrass prairie headwater springs were marked and recaptured to determine if headwater springs were a source of fish recolonizing intermittent sections downstream and to estimate population sizes in the headwater springs. Three fish species (Campostoma anomalum, Phoxinus erythrogaster, and Etheostoma spectabile) were collected. Catch rates and population estimates of fish nine days post-flood were approximately half of the values obtained during subsequent sampling periods. Recolonization of an intermittent section was primarily by age-0 fish that seemingly were displaced downstream by flood events. The distribution of fish within the upper subbasins of the South Branch of Kings Creek was limited to perennial spring-fed reaches. The short duration of continuous flow and regular drying in these tributaries might limit the dispersal of individuals between populations in this landscape.