Project Update: Understanding how river flow affects Guadalupe Bass and other species
When: Wednesday, December 7, 12:00-1:00 PM
View the recorded Guadalupe Bass webinar
Conservation & Management Challenges:
Flow alteration -- from new and existing water supply projects, increased urbanization, and drought conditions -- is a pervasive threat to aquatic wildlife throughout the Gulf Coast Prairie region. One species susceptible to this threat is Guadalupe Bass, an economically and ecologically important black bass species endemic to Texas. The area encompassing their range is projected to experience some of the highest population growth in Texas, placing increased demands on the aquifers and watersheds of this region. A previous GCP LCC Instream Flow project conducted by the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) produced hypotheses about instream flow requirements of native aquatic species that need to be tested. This project will clarify how changes in flow are likely to affect Guadalupe Bass and will make recommendations for conservation of this priority species. Knowledge of how to manage sustainable Guadalupe Bass populations will benefit invertebrates, such as Quadrula mussels, and other fish species with similar instream flow requirements.
Understanding the interplay of recruitment, growth, and mortality, and how environmental conditions and ecological interactions influence fish populations is critical to predicting and modeling species responses to both environmental disturbances and management strategies. A combination of historical and contemporary data will be used to assess the role of discharge (from dams and other hydrological alterations) on Guadalupe Bass year class strength through reproduction and recruitment. These data will help to assess three hypotheses explaining how instream flow affects (a) growth and recruitment, (b) habitat quality and availability, and (c) nest success during spawning season of Guadalupe and other black bass species. Final products will include:
Dr. Robin Verble-Pearson, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University Department of Natural Resources Management
Robin is an assistant professor at Texas Tech University. She completed her B.S. in biophysics from the University of Southern Indiana, her M.S. in forest entomology from the University of Arkansas, and a Ph.D. in applied ecology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her research focuses on insect responses to disturbance in North American systems.
Heather Williams, Graduate Research Assistant, Texas Tech University Department of Natural Resources Management
Heather is completing an M.S. at Texas Tech University. Her work centers on flow effects on growth of Guadalupe Bass in the North and South Llano River systems in central Texas. Her research interests include aquatic ecology, entomology, restoration ecology, and river conservation.