Evaluating factors affecting movement and recolonization of mottled sculpin and mountain sucker in the Wyoming Range

Native fish populations in the Wyoming Range are heavily impacted by multiple stressors including oil and gas development, grazing, flow alteration, and climate change. Determining what drives native fish persistence in this stressed ecosystem is crucial for species conservation.

Fish with greater recolonization rates are more likely to persist in stressed areas. Therefore, understanding factors that contribute to recolonization is crucial for species conservation. Factors that affect recolonization include: reproductive guild, barriers, time since the disturbance event, available refugia, abundance, and movement rates. Further, fish with higher movement rates are expected to recolonize reaches more quickly after a disturbance event. Therefore, we propose to compare factors influencing recolonization of mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdii) and mountain sucker (C. platyrhynchus) in the Wyoming Range.

Our objectives are to:

  1. Evaluate recolonization rates and compare factors influencing variation between mottled sculpin and mountain sucker
  2. Determine movement rates of mottled sculpin and mountain sucker

 

 

Project Lead