Microhabitat Use by an Assemblage of California Stream Fishes: Developing Criteria for Instream Flow Determinations

TitleMicrohabitat Use by an Assemblage of California Stream Fishes: Developing Criteria for Instream Flow Determinations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsMoyle, P. B., & Baltz D. M.
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume114
Issue5
Pagination695-704
AbstractMicrohabitat requirements were determined for eight species of native California stream fishes: Rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri; Sacramento sucker Catostomus occidentalis; Sacramento squawfish Ptychocheilus grandis; hardhead Mylopharodon conocephalus; California roach Hesperoleucus symmetricus; speckled dace Rhinichthys osculus; tule perch Hysterocarpus traski; and riffle sculpin Cottus gulosus. Two or three size classes were evaluated for each species. Each species had a preferred microhabitat (defined on the basis of depth, velocity, substrate), as did each size class within each species, but there was much similarity in microhabitat use within and among species. The amount of microhabitat available to each species differed in three stream reaches in which availability was quantified, but the differences were not enough to explain the differences in composition of the fish assemblage found at each site. This study indicates that recommendations for instream flows should be based on microhabitat use data collected on site together with habitat availability data. Even on-site data should be used cautiously because intraspecific interactions and changes in a stream's physical characteristics, especially in its temperature regime, may cause unexpected shifts in microhabitat use.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1577/1548-8659(1985)114<695:MUBAAO>2.0.CO;2
DOI10.1577/1548-8659(1985)114<695:MUBAAO>2.0.CO;2