Seasonal Microhabitat Preference For Minnows In Low Order Streams

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Smith, Abigail
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University of Guelph

Stream restoration and conservation are used to improve fish habitat. However, this requires knowledge of seasonal habitat preference for fish. Active sampling methods have associated difficulties with surveying fish under these conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the reproducibility and researcher impacts of using remote underwater video cameras while estimating fish abundance and habitat preference. As well as, to evaluate fish abundance estimates and fish activity at different microhabitats to determine preferred habitat during the fall to spring. Using remote underwater video cameras gave reproducible results for determining fish estimates while inflicting minimal stress on fish during the deployment and recording period. During the winter fish are observed utilizing woody debris jams for station holding most frequently. This thesis provides a further understanding of utilizing RUVs for monitoring fish species while determining preferred winter habitat for minnows to inform restoration and conservation work in small, shallow channels.

microhabitat, minnows, low order streams, remote underwater video camera