, 29:488 | Cite as

Adult and juvenile paddlefish in floodplain lakes along the lower White River, Arkansas

  • Sandra J. Clark-Kolaks
  • John R. Jackson
  • Steve E. Lochmann


Eleven floodplain lakes in the lower White River, Arkansas were sampled using a boat electrofisher and gill nets during periods of river connection (April–May 2004) and disconnection (June–July 2004 and 2005). Environmental characteristics, including water quality and lake morphometrics were concurrently measured in each lake. Average measures of connectivity were calculated for the preceding 5-year period. Of the 11 lakes sampled, 7 lakes contained paddlefish. A total of 44 paddlefish were observed during the study, but only 1 was observed during the period of river connection. Eye-fork lengths ranged from 348– 1040 mm (n = 38). Paddlefish ranged in age from 3–19 years (n = 27). Paddlefish were more likely to be found in long narrow floodplain lakes that connected to the river early in the year. Paddlefish catch per unit effort increased as lake surface area, dissolved oxygen level, and variability in the start date of connection increased. Our research indicated that both juvenile and adult paddlefish use White River floodplain lakes, despite the risk of being isolated in lakes for long periods or being prevented from accessing riverine spawning habitat.


Fishery Management Floodplain Lake River Stage American Fishery Society Lake Surface Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Literature Cited

  1. Adams, L. A. 1942. Age determination and rate of growth in Polyodon spathula, by means of the growth rings of otoliths and dentary bone. The American Midland Naturalist 28: 617–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown, A. V., K. B. Brown, D. C. Jackson, and W. K. Pierson. 2005. Lower Mississippi River and its tributaries. p. 246–51. In A. C. Benke and C. E. Cushing (eds.) Rivers of North America, Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  3. Burkhardt, R. W. and S. Gutreuter. 1995. Improving electrofishing catch consistency by standardizing power. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 15: 375–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlson, D. M. and P. S. Bonislawsky. 1981. The paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) fisheries on the Midwestern United States. Fisheries 6: 17–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Filipek, S. 1990. Arkansas paddlefish investigations. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Project F-42-6, Final Report, Little Rock, AR, USA.Google Scholar
  6. Graham, K. 1997. Contemporary status of the North American paddlefish, Polyodon spatula. Environmental Biology of Fishes 48: 279–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Houser, A. and M. G. Bross. 1959. Observations of growth and reproduction of the paddlefish. Transactions of the American Academy of Science 88: 50–52.Google Scholar
  8. Hoxmeier, R. J. H. and D. R. DeVries. 1997. Habitat use, diet, and population structure of adult and juvenile paddlefish in the lower Alabama River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 126: 288–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hubert, W. A. 1996. Passive capture techniques. p. 157–92. In B. R. Murphy and D. W. Willis (eds.) Fisheries Techniques, 2nd edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Hubert, W. A., S. H. Anderson, P. D. Southall, and J. H. Crance. 1984. Habitat suitability index models and instream flow suitability curves: paddlefish. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service FWS/OBS-82/10.80, Washington D.C., USA.Google Scholar
  11. Jennings, C. A. and S. J. Zigler. 2000. Ecology and biology of paddlefish in North America: historical perspectives, management approaches, and research priorities. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 10: 167–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lein, G. M. and D. R. DeVries. 1998. Paddlefish in the Alabama River drainage: population characteristics and the adult spawning migration. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 127: 441–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Moen, C. T., D. L. Scarnecchia, and J. S. Ramsey. 1992. Paddlefish movements and habitat use in Pool 13 of the upper Mississippi River during abnormally low river stages and discharges. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 12: 744–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. NCSS. 2001. Number Cruncher Statistical Systems Software for Windows. Number Cruncher Statistical Systems, Kaysville, UT, USA.Google Scholar
  15. Paukert, C. and W. Fisher. 2001. Characteristics of paddlefish in a Southwestern U.S. reservoir, with comparisons of lentic and lotic populations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 130: 634–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pitman, V. M. and J. O. Parks. 1994. Habitat use and movement of young paddlefish (Polyodon spatula). Journal of Freshwater Ecology 9: 181–89.Google Scholar
  17. Reed, B. C., W. E. Kelso, and D. A. Rutherford. 1992. Growth, fecundity, and mortality of paddlefish in Louisiana. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 121: 378–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ruelle, R. and P. L. Huson. 1977. Paddlefish (Polyodon spatula): growth and food of young of the year and a suggested technique for measuring length. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 106: 609–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ryder, R. A., S. R. Kerr, K. H. Loftus, and H. A. Regier. 1974. The morphoedaphic index, a fish yield estimator-review and evaluation. Journal of Fisheries Research Board of Canada 31: 663–88.Google Scholar
  20. Scarnecchia, D. L., L. F. Ryckman, Y. Lim, G. Power, B. Schmitz, and V. Riggs. 2006. A long-term program for validation and verification of dentaries for age estimation in the Yellowstone-Sakakawea paddlefish stock. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135: 1086–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Scholten, G. D. and P. W. Bettoli. 2005. Population characteristics and assessmen of overfishing for an exploited paddlefish population in the lower Tennessee River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134: 1285–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Southall, P. D. and W. A. Hubert. 1984. Habitat use by adult paddlefish in the upper Mississippi River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 113: 125–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stancill, W., G. R. Jordan, and C. P. Paukert. 2002. Seasonal migration patterns and site fidelity of adult paddlefish in Lake Francis Case, Missouri River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 22: 815–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Timmons, T. J. and T. A. Hughbanks. 2000. Exploitation and mortality of paddlefish in the Lower Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129: 1171–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilde, G. R. 2000. Distribution, movements, and habitat use by paddlefish in the lower Neches River, Texas. Department of Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management, Beaumont, TX, USA.Google Scholar
  26. von Bertalanffy, L. 1938. A quantitative theory of organic growth. Human Biology 10: 181–213.Google Scholar
  27. Zigler, S. J., M. R. Dewey, and B. C. Knight. 2003. Movement and habitat use by radio-tagged paddlefish in the upper Mississippi River and tributaries. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23: 189–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zigler, S. J., M. R. Dewey, and B. C. Knights. 1999. Diel movement and habitat use by paddlefish in navigation pool 8 of the upper Mississippi River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 19: 180–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra J. Clark-Kolaks
    • 1
  • John R. Jackson
    • 1
  • Steve E. Lochmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesArkansas Tech UniversityRussellvilleUSA
  2. 2.Aquaculture/Fisheries CenterUniversity of Arkansas at Pine BluffPine BluffUSA

Personalised recommendations