Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

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    Kimmel holding Alligator Gar

    Kayla Kimmel, USFWS Fisheries Biologist, holding an Alligator Gar
    Photo courtesy of USFWS

Quantification of Alligator Gar Recruitment Dynamics Using a River-Stage Specific Floodplain Inundation Model

Formal Title: Quantification of Alligator Gar Recruitment Dynamics Using a River-Stage Specific Floodplain Inundation Model

Research Focus: Alligator Gar habitat

Conservation & Management Challenges:

Alligator Gar, Atractosteus spatula, is an iconic species native to lowland floodplain river systems where they play an important role as top predators and by linking landscapes through their movement. Alligator Gar is also an important native fisheries species in the Trinity River, and is a species of concern in most of the states where it occurs naturally.  Disruption of river-floodplain connectivity is implicated in declining populations of Alligator Gar across much of its range.  Successful management and conservation of Alligator Gar populations will be aided by an understanding of the relationship between flow and recruitment, particularly the availability and suitability of off-channel habitats utilized by this species for reproduction.

Research Overview:

This project will identify potential Alligator Gar spawning areas in floodplain reaches of the lower Trinity River and model the amount and quality of inundated floodplain habitat during the spawning season to Alligator Gar year-class strength (i.e. recruitment).  The model will be validated through actual quantification of floodplain inundation using remote imagery and field observations as well as field collection of young-of-year Alligator Gar following suitable flood pulses.

Results:

This project was initiated in 2016 and is scheduled for completion in June 2018.  

View the recorded March 2017 Alligator Gar webinar update 

Access Alligator Gar Recruitment project reports on ScienceBase

Status:

This 36-month project was initiated in June 2015 and is scheduled for completion in May 2018.  The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative is funding this project.

Contacts:

Principal Investigator:  Dr. David Hoeinghaus, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Institute of Applied Science, U of North Texas, David.Hoeinghaus@unt.edu, 940-565-2228

 

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Point-of-Contact: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506  

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