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Fisheries Sampled at Overton Unit of Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, October 20, 2007
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There are three Missouri River floodplain scours at the Overton Unit of Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (NFWR).  These scours were created by the flood of 1993.  The scours are unique from impoundment fisheries due to their almost annual reconnection to the river. This reconnection allows the exchange of fish and nutrients.  In efforts no enhance the recreational fisheries at the refuge, twelve-hundred largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides averaging five inches in length were stocked in two of the scours during the fall.

 

During October, Columbia National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) sampled the three refuge scours.  These samplings were conducted to determine species richness, diversity, abundance, and condition.  Night electrofishing, large trap nets, and mini-fyke nets were used to sample One-thousand six-hundred and ninety-one fish from thirty-two species.  Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and gizzard shad Dorosoma cepidianum constituted the majority of the sampled fish.

 

With a large prey base identified for the bass by this year’s sampling Columbia NFWCO eagerly awaits future samplings.  These samplings will allow biologist to observe the effects of reconnection or lack there of on the bass fisheries.  They will also indicate if overstocking is possible in reconnecting scours.  This information will be used to enhance the recreational fishing opportunities at the refuge.  These efforts support the Partnerships and Accountability and Public Use goals of the Fisheries Programs Vision for the Future.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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