Interannual Variability in Spatial and Temporal Spawning Distributions of White Bass in the Arkansas River

There is a limited understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of tributary use for riverine populations of white bass (Morone chrysops) during the spawning season. We sampled white bass in 10 tributaries of Arkansas River Pool 4 during their spawning season in 2010 and 2011. Each tributary was sampled using boat-mounted electrofishing every third week during the spawning season to assess spatial variability of white bass spawning. One tributary (Caney Bayou) known to be occupied by white bass during the spawning season was sampled weekly to document temporal variability of the spawn. Average (SE) CPUE was 5.5 (0.9) fish h?1 across Pool 4, with CPUE in Caney Bayou averaging 7.5 (1.4) fish h?1. Although Caney Bayou was used during the spawning season both years, at least four other tributaries were also used both years. Spawning was unimodal in 2010, but bimodal in 2011. Water temperature appeared to influence white bass tributary use. When water temperatures reached 13? C, white bass CPUE in and near tributaries increased. Stream current velocities was significantly related to white bass CPUE only when the highest velocities were removed from the dataset because of the possible influence of current velocity on electrofishing catch rates. Understanding the relative importance of different spawning locations, the interannual variability in tributary use, and the factors influencing spawning in tributaries will help managers ensure fishery sustainability.

Publication date
Starting page
Ending page