Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
Stuart A. Welsh.
The following thesis contains three chapters. The first chapter introduces and reviews literature on disturbances in streams (e.g. flood and drought), recovery of impacted lotic systems, introduced species and New River fish distributions. Chapter 2 provides a synthesis of native and nonnative fish distribution data of the New River Gorge National River (NRGNR). Sixty-two species were documented within or near the NRGNR. Thirty-one (50%) are considered nonnative. The third chapter consists of a study that estimated seasonal abundances of native and nonnative fishes in small tributaries of NRGNR during a 20 month time period following July 2001 floods, and examined among-season stability in abundances of native and nonnative fishes across the 20-month time series. Twenty-nine species were observed (15 native and 14 nonnative) and patterns of recovery were influenced primarily by four natives (stoneroller, blacknose, dace, creek chub, and green sunfish) and four nonnatives (telescope shiner, whitetail shiner, smallmouth bass, and rainbow darter). Abundances of most species did not increase monotonically over the 20-month study period, but fluctuated among seasons. Abundances of nonnative fishes were generally less stable than those of natives across the 20-month time series. Seasonal variation in abundances among species was attributed to historic ecological factors, summer drought, immigration and emigration associated with seasonal habitat shifts, and juvenile recruitment.
Wellman, David I. Jr., "Post-flood recovery and distributions of fishes in the New River Gorge National River, West Virginia" (2004). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2001.