Movement and habitat use of selected nongame fishes in a Minnesota lake
Habrat, Michael David
Miranda, E. L.
Aquatic vegetation provides important habitats for fish, but these habitats are increasingly being altered anthropogenically. My research evaluated the movement and habitat use of three small rare fish species, the blackchin shiner Notropis heterodon (BCS), blacknose shiner Notropis heterolepis (BNS), and banded killifish Fundulus diaphanous, in a Minnesota lake. BCS and BNS traveled farther in spring than summer, but selection of habitat based upon macrophyte biovolume did not explain these differences. All three fish species traveled long distances (> 1,800 m) and were capable of reaching all available habitats in Square Lake. Macrophyte species richness and prey (zooplankton) abundance were not correlated with fish abundance; however, ordination techniques suggested several macrophyte species were important to the habitat use of these fishes in Square Lake. Proactive management for the conservation of these sensitive fish species in Square Lake should focus on protecting vegetated habitats and preserving water quality