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Presentation

Abstract

The 2015 RESPEC Clark Fork River Fishery Assessment identified a reach of the Clark Fork River between Rock Creek and Flint Creek with low trout densities relative to the rest of the river. While examining a variety of potential causes, researchers noted a lack of information on aquatic invertebrate communities, which are a critical food source for trout. To investigate whether benthic invertebrates might account for the difference in trout densities, I used a kick net, yard stick, and flow tracker to sample aquatic invertebrate communities in six locations (three in a low trout density reach and three in a high trout density reach) on the river with consistent depth and flow velocity. This study investigates potential differences in invertebrate biomass, density, and taxonomic diversity that may explain the disparity in trout density between these two reaches. Invertebrate assemblages are also useful as bio-indicators of pollution or other larger issues affecting the ecosystem. When the samples are fully analyzed, this study may shed light on the ecological context of this disparity in trout density, and may better inform fisheries managers so that they can manage the Clark Fork River as effectively as possible.

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Apr 15th, 4:20 PM Apr 15th, 4:40 PM

Fish Food: Characterizing Aquatic Invertebrate Communities on the Upper Clark Fork River

The 2015 RESPEC Clark Fork River Fishery Assessment identified a reach of the Clark Fork River between Rock Creek and Flint Creek with low trout densities relative to the rest of the river. While examining a variety of potential causes, researchers noted a lack of information on aquatic invertebrate communities, which are a critical food source for trout. To investigate whether benthic invertebrates might account for the difference in trout densities, I used a kick net, yard stick, and flow tracker to sample aquatic invertebrate communities in six locations (three in a low trout density reach and three in a high trout density reach) on the river with consistent depth and flow velocity. This study investigates potential differences in invertebrate biomass, density, and taxonomic diversity that may explain the disparity in trout density between these two reaches. Invertebrate assemblages are also useful as bio-indicators of pollution or other larger issues affecting the ecosystem. When the samples are fully analyzed, this study may shed light on the ecological context of this disparity in trout density, and may better inform fisheries managers so that they can manage the Clark Fork River as effectively as possible.