Fish Community Studies

Tennessee dace (Phoxinus tennesseensis):
Photo copyrighted by R.T. Bryant.

The fish community data showed that there was a spatial improvement with distance from the S3 plume influences (Figure 1). Species richness and the number of sensitive species (e.g., darters) were greater at BCK 3.3 than at upstream sites, where the influence of past poor water quality and the insolation by a downstream weir has limited the diversity of the fish community. 
Density and biomass at BCK 12.4 and BCK 9.9 reflect a recovery from the substantial decline observed in fall 1995 and spring 1996 samples. The decline at BCK 12.4 appears to be related to an impact on reproductive success, as the young-of-year age class (<4 cm) was reduced proportionally more than other size classes. This reduced size class could be a result of poor egg or larval survival from the spring spawning in 1995. 

Figure 1. Species richness, biomass, and density for fish communities at three sites in Bear Creek (BCK), and reference sites in Mill Branch (MBK) and Pinhook Branch (PHK), 1984 through 1997.

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001