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Project Trimester Report - June 2003

Big Cypress National Preserve Freshwater Fish Inventory & Monitoring Program
Audubon Tavernier Science Center
Jerome Lorenz, Greg Ellis, Marcus Zokan, and Wiliam F. Loftus

Overview of Progress, April-June 2003

map showing fish sampling locations
Figure 1: BICY fish I & M sampling locations, as of June 2003. [larger image]

Field sampling has continued in the three months covered by this report. This period is the peak of the seasonal dry-down in Big Cypress and has limited sampling to long-hydroperiod areas. As of June 2003, a total of 203 sites have been sampled, with 53 of these sampling expeditions occurring within the past 3 months (Figure 1). Of these, 96 have been in canals, 33 in cypress forest, 29 in freshwater marshes, 20 in ponds, sloughs, or streams, and the remainder divided among habitats that are either short-hydroperiod or are not spatially extensive in the preserve (Table 1). A total of 54 species have been captured, and an additional three have been positively identified through visual records (Table 2). Efforts have been made to target species suspected to be present in the preserve but which had not been captured during the previous six months, leading to the capture of thirteen new species in the past three months. Most of these were euryhalines that have penetrated into freshwater in canals in the southwestern portion of the preserve, including Crevalle Jack (Caranx hippos), Snook (Centropomus undecimalis), Gray Snapper (Lutjanus griseus), Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides), Clown Goby (Microgobius gulosus), Tidewater Mojarra (Eucinostomus harengulus), Striped Mullet (Mugil cephalus), and Atlantic and Redfin Needlefish (Strongylura marina and S. notata respectively). Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta), and Swamp Darter (Etheostoma fusiforme) were taken from the L-28 canal in the northeast region of the preserve.

Anticipated Upcoming Work

Table 1: Sampling expeditions by habitat type, October 2002- June 2003
habitat samples taken
canals 96
cypress forest 33
freshwater marsh 29
sloughs/ponds 20
herbaceous prairies 12
pine/cypress prairies 6
mixed swamp forest 4
coastal marshes 2

During the upcoming three months, daily field sampling will continue and will expand geographically with rising surface water levels. Several new sampling methods will be evaluated, including the use of hoop nets with leads and the use of experimental gill nets. Additionally, planning and site evaluations will be conducted for commencing a long-term monitoring program of fish populations in the preserve. This effort will be focused on providing baseline data for reference in evaluating the impact of future hydrologic changes to the area as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). As such, the majority of these sites will be located in areas most likely to be impacted by CERP, notably the northern and eastern portions of the preserve. Additional reference sites will be situated in locations less likely to see direct impacts for Everglades restoration work.

Table 2: Species captured/sighted, October 2002- June 2003
captured species
species name common name
Ameiurus natalis Yellow bullhead
Amia calva Bowfin
Anguilla rostrata American eel
Archosargus probatocephalus Sheepshead*
Astronotus ocellatus Oscar
Bathygobius soporator Frillfinned goby
Belonesox belizanus Pike killifish
Caranx hippos Crevalle jack*
Centropomus undecimalis Snook*
Cichlasoma bimaculatum Black acara
Cichlasoma urophthalmus Mayan cichlid
Clarias batrachus Walking catfish
Cyprinodon variegatus Sheepshead minnow
Dorsoma cepedianum Gizzard shad*
Elassoma evergladei Everglades pygmy sunfish
Enneacanthus gloriosus Bluespotted sunfish
Erymizon sucetta Lake chubsucker*
Etheostoma fusiforme Swamp darter*
Eucinostomus harengulus Tidewater mojarra*
Eugerres plumieri Striped mojarra
Fundulus chrysotus Golden topminnow
Fundulus confluentus Marsh killifish
Fundulus seminolis Seminole killifish
Gambusia holbrooki Mosquitofish
Hemichromis letourneauxi Jewel cichlid
Heterandria formosa Least killifish
Hoplosternum littorale Brown hoplo
Jordanella floridae Flagfish
Labidesthes sicculus Brook silverside
Lagodon rhomboides Pinfish*
Lepisosteus platyrhincus Florida gar
Lepomis gulosus Warmouth
Lepomis macrochirus Bluegill
Lepomis marginatus Dollar sunfish
Lepomis microlophus Redear
Lepomis punctatus Spotted sunfish
Lophogobius cyprinoides Crested goby
Lucania goodei Bluefin killifish
Lucania parva Rainwater killifish
Lutjanus griseus Gray snapper*
Menidia beryllina Inland silverside
Microgobius gulosus Clown goby*
Micropterus salmoides Largemouth bass
Mugil cephalus Striped Mullet*
Notemigonus crysoleucas Golden shiner
Notropis maculatus Taillight shiner
Notropis petersoni Coastal shiner
Noturus gyrinus Tadpole madtom
Oreochromis aureus Blue tilapia
Poecilia latipinna Sailfin molly
Strongylura marina Atlantic needlefish*
Strongylura notata Redfin needlefish*
Tilapia mariae Spotted tilapia
Trinectes maculatus Hogchoker
species designated with an asterisk have been captured for the first time during the past three months
sighted species
species name common name
Echeneis naucrates Sharksucker
Megalop atlanticus Tarpon
Arius felis Hardhead Catfish

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM (KP)