Fish Community Studies

A total of 31 species of fish were found at the eight sites in the Blue River watershed. Twenty-one fish species were found at INK 0.2, below the KCP Outfall 002. Smaller streams contained 10 to 11 species. Most species were common prairie species or species that occurred throughout Missouri and Kansas.

Catch-per-unit effort in the streams ranged from a high of 15.6 fish/min at INK 21.9, above the POTWs to a low of 4.35 at INK 18.5, immediately downstream of a POTW. Both Blue River sites had catch-per-unit efforts near 2.

The Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) results rated most sites on the border of poor to fair. The lowest score was at INK 18.5, which rated as very poor.

The fish community sampling results indicate a watershed-wide depression of expected species richness and composition. However, this deviation from expected standards is apparently not a recent event. Surveys of the Blue River conducted by the Missouri Department of Conservation during 1966-1990 also found a total of 31 species of fish.

Overall, the fish community evaluation indicated that the residual chlorine released from the KCP does not detectably impact the Blue River watershed. Instead, the impacts suggested by our data were consistent with a generalized degradation of habitat and changes in water quality associated with non-point source and point source pollutants.

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001
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