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Wednesday, April 22 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Habitat Preferences of Translocated Sicklefin Redhorse (Moxostoma sp.) in the Oconaluftee River near Cherokee, NC

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The Sicklefin Redhorse (Moxostoma sp.) is an imperiled species whose range is restricted to Blue Ridge portions of the Hiwassee and Little Tennessee River systems in North Carolina and Georgia. The Sicklefin Redhorse population is threatened by habitat degradation, stream impediments, and restriction of their native home range that isolates and limits their population potential. In order to determine if individuals had habitat preferences when selecting habitat, we translocated 10 individuals from the Tuckasegee River into Oconaluftee River and tracked them via radio telemetry. Once occupied areas were established, we performed a visual habitat analysis adapted from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Individuals reintroduced above the Ela dam in Cherokee, NC exhibited specific preferences when selecting areas of the Oconaluftee River to occupy. The fish exerted a strong preferences for habitats with cobble, bedrock, and boulders as the dominant substrate, and a heavy presence of macrophytes. Sicklefin Redhorse were more likely to be in areas with a variety of in-stream habitat options and were at least 1 meter in depth. The Oconaluftee River contains aspects of habitat necessary for the species to thrive, and could be essential in establishing the Sicklefin Redhorse back to part of its historic range.


Wednesday April 22, 2015 1:20pm - 1:40pm PDT
014 Zeis Hall

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