Use of Shadow Bass Stock Characteristics to Evaluate Natural and Scenic Waterways in Mississippi

Shadow bass (Ambloplites ariommus) stocks were characterized in the Yockanookany and upper Pearl Rivers (1994-1996) to determine if this relatively uncommon fish could be used to evaluate streams for inclusion in the Mississippi Natural and Scenic Waterways System. Habitat influences (e.g., negative effects of channelization) on shadow bass were best reflected in stock characteristics that need considerable data and laboratory work (i.e., age and growth studies, condition factor analysis). Such studies focusing on shadow bass are incompatible with programs requiring rapid assessments of stream characteristics. Therefore, and unless the legislative initiative recommends slow, thorough processes for evaluating streams for the Mississippi Natural and Scenic Waterways System, shadow bass should not be selected as an indicator species, even though shadow bass can reflect the general well-being and relative status of the stream as a naturally functioning system.

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