Date of this Version
The Prairie Naturalist 44: 98-104. December 2012
Understanding factors structuring fish assemblages in a particular area is valuable to both sport fishery management and native species conservation. Fish assemblages in the Black Hills are unique to South Dakota because they contain economically valuable introduced salmonids as well as native species of conservation need. Our objective was to examine the relationship between fish assemblages and geomorphic and reach-scale habitat features across multiple stream reaches in the Black Hills. Canonical correspondence analysis, a direct gradient ordination analysis, indicated that factors operating at multiple spatial scales interacted to structure fish assemblages. There also was indication of segregation between native species and introduced salmonids. Fish assemblages were primarily structured by variables related to longitudinal stream gradients, followed by reach-scale habitat factors and biotic interactions. Habitat associations of fishes from this study provide insight into their ecology and can aid effective fisheries management in the Black Hills.