Variation of fish assemblages and species abundances in the upper Flint River shoals, Georgia
Marcinek, Paula Ann
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The Flint River, a major tributary of the Apalachicola drainage, is one of four rivers originating in the Piedmont of central Georgia. This study investigated relations between fish assemblages and habitat characteristics in shoals, one of the primary features of the upper mainstem. The study compared variation in fish assemblages and species abundances among shoals at two scales, the microhabitat and the reach. Shoals differed in terms of species assemblages, habitat composition, and species abundances. Habitat use by fishes was predicted by different variables at the microhabitat and reach scales. The predictive variables were depth, velocity, Podostemum coverage, bed sediment variables, and gradient. These findings should be useful for management decisions and in evaluating consequences of municipal water policy in the Flint headwaters.