Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
Stuart A. Welsh
Kyle J. Hartman
Winter is a critical period during which fishes may suffer increased mortality. To identify the habitats that fishes use in large rivers during winter conditions, we electrofished six habitat types in the Belleville Pool, Ohio River. We collected the greatest diversity and numbers of fishes in low-velocity tributary confluences when water temperatures were >4°C. When water temperatures were <4°C, certain species were collected in greater abundance in faster-velocity main channel and back channel habitats while other species continued to associate with lower flows in tributary mouths. Differing habitat use between species obscures broad generalizations about when and how fishes use overwintering refuges. In an additional habitat sampled, an embayment, 85% of all fishes collected were juveniles. Centrarchids, rarely collected in the mainstem portion of the river, were one of the dominant fishes collected in the embayment. Protecting large river embayments may prove important for managing recreational sunfish fisheries.
Lenz, Benjamin Ernst, "Winter habitat use of fishes in the Ohio River" (2003). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 1796.