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Tuesday, January 26 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Growth Rate of Larval Pallid Sturgeon As Influenced By Historic Changes In Missouri River Water Temperatures

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AUTHORS: Laura B. Heironimus, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University; Steven R. Chipps*, USGS South Dakota Coop Unit; David D. Deslauriers, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University; David Galat, USGS Missouri Coop Unit

ABSTRACT: Cold-water releases below large dams can have an important influence on fisheries productivity. In the upper Missouri River, the construction of large impoundments has been associated with changes in water temperature regimes, seasonal hydrographs, water turbidity, and migration corridors for fishes. Habitat alterations in the Missouri River are believed to contribute to recruitment failure in the federally endangered pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus, with research priorities focused on the larval stage of the species. Using a bioenergetics approach, we simulated growth dynamics of larval pallid sturgeon in the upper and lower Missouri River. Long-term water temperature data were obtained below Garrison Dam (GD), North Dakota during pre-dam (1932-1952) and post-dam (1960-2001) periods; data for similar time periods were obtained from the lower Missouri River (LMR) near Boonville, Missouri. Larval growth, starting at hatch and simulated over an average growing season, showed that end weights increased by 1% and decreased by 65% from the pre-dam to the post-dam time periods in the LMR and GD, respectively. We also found 5% and 54% fewer cumulative thermal units in the LMR and GD, respectively – compared to pre-dam conditions. Our findings show that the cold water from deep-release storage reservoirs (i.e. Garrison Dam) can reduce growth of larval pallid sturgeon; however, further downstream in the LMR (~1880 km), negative impacts from temperature are no longer detected. With six major dams along the main stem upper Missouri River, thermal impacts may be an important factor affecting growth and recruitment in pallid sturgeon.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 11:20am - 11:40am EST
Emerald B

Attendees (4)