Lane, M., Oakley, J.W., Guillen, G., Curtis, S. 2014. Preliminary

Preliminary Analysis of Spatial Patterns
in Texas Lotic Fish Communities
Michael Lane*, Jenny Oakley, Stephen Curtis, George Guillen
Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas 77058
Background
Results
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first implemented
the National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) in 20082009 to assess the condition of the nation’s flowing waters.
The findings of their study suggested that 55% of the nation’s
river and stream miles did not support healthy populations of
aquatic life. A second NRSA survey is underway for 20132014, utilizing the same random sampling design and
analytical procedures to ensure that comparisons can be made
across the country and over time. Collaboration between
state, tribal, and federal partners is intended to improve
monitoring across jurisdictional boundaries and enhance
states’ ability to assess and manage water quality. The
Environmental Institute of Houston (EIH) is coordinating with
the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and
the EPA to conduct these surveys in Texas.
Figure 6: Photo voucher of
Minytrema melanops
Figure 5: Photo voucher of
Lepomis cyanellus
Methods
Figure 9: Breakdown of IBI scores by ecoregion
Sample reaches were oriented around an “X” site with given GPS
coordinates which in most cases is transect F for each site (Figures 7 & 8)
EPA protocol mandated that electrofishing be the primary method of
sampling fishes, while seining was utilized only if absolutely necessary
Figure 10: Breakdown of IBI scores by basin
Aquatic Life Use
→
Ecoregion ↓
Limited
Intermediate High Exceptional
The highest mean values
25, 26
<24
24-33
34-35
>35
of Shannon diversity (H’)
27, 29, 32
<35
35-40
41-48
>48
were found in the San
30
<30
30-41
42-51
>51
Antonio and Guadalupe
31
<25
25-36
37-41
>41
basins (2.34 and and 2.20)
33, 35
<36
36-41
42-51
>51
The lowest mean value of
34
<31
31-38
39-48
>48
Table 1: IBI scores by ecoregion and aquatic life use
H’ was found in coastal
streams independent of a major basin (1.19)
NRSA Fish Abundance
NRSA Fish Abundance
MDS Plot of Sites Grouped by Stream Order
MDS Plot of Sites Grouped by River Basin
Transform: Log(X+1)
Resemblance: S17 Bray Curtis similarity
2D Stress: 0.17
Figure 1: Electrofishing with barge shocking unit
Figure 2: Electrofishing with boat shocking unit
Figure 3: Removing scales for a fish plug sample
1080
0916
0928a
1210
0928b
0909
Study Area
1004
0907
0914
1123 0933
0910
1010
1074
1002
 Thirty one sites across Texas were sampled from June
through September 2013 (Figure 4)
 Major river basins visited include the Red, Sabine, Neches,
Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, San Antonio, and
Nueces
 Sites were classified as either “boatable” or “wadeable” and
were visited only once (with the exception of three EPA
designated revisit sites)
0918
1119
0936
Transform: Log(X+1)
Resemblance: S17 Bray Curtis similarity
Stream Order
2D Stress: 0.17
4
3
6
7
5
0
1
2
1118
0915
10110903b 1216 0929
1081 0934
0903a
0907
1004
0936
0914
0909
0917
1123 0933
1210
0916
Figure 11: Non-metric Multi-Dimensional Analysis of
NRSA sites utilizing Strahler stream order
0926b
0926a
1002
1074
1010
0910
0926a
0926b
0931
0937
1006
0918
0903a
1081 0934
0915
10110903b 1216 0929
1006
0937
0931
1118
Brazos
Red
Trinity
Nueces
San Antonio
Neches
Colorado
Sabine
Guadalupe
Independent
0917
1119
Basin
1080
0928b
0928a
Figure 12: Non-metric Multi-Dimensional Analysis of
NRSA sites utilizing major river basin
MDS analysis by stream order produced gradients separating
low order (0, 1, and 2) sites from high order (5, 6 and 7) sites
(Figure 11)
Figure 7: Laying out the sample reach for a boatable
stream (Source: EPA 2013)
Figure 8: Laying out the sample reach for a wadeable
stream (Source: EPA 2013)
Additional parameters were collected at each site including benthic
macroinvertebrates, periphyton, water chemistry, and physical habitat
Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) was calculated for each sampling event
using the TCEQ ecoregion calculators developed by Linam et al. (2002)
Fish community structure were grouped by ecoregion, major river basin,
and stream order and analyzed using PRIMER 6 and Minitab 16
software.
o All abundance data was Log(X+1) transformed
Results
 At 30 different sample sites in 33 sampling events:
o 15,999 total individuals were captured
o 19 families were represented with a total of 43 genera and 78
species

Figure 4: Map of 2013 study area (Texas) and sample sites. Note the TCEQ ecoregions.
6 of these species were non-native
 IBI scores ranged from 23 to 52 (Figures 9 & 10)
o IBI scores are slight underestimates because they were calculated
without seining data (except for 2 sites)
MDS analysis by basin produced less defined groups; Colorado
River basin sites were the most similar to each other (Figure 12)
Conclusions & Future Work
NRSA sampling will recommence in May 2014 and data
collection is expected to be complete in September 2014. The
addition of 2014 sample sites will complete the data collection for
this project and allow for more thorough analysis of community
assemblage by stream order, river basin, ecoregions and other
parameters. The EPA will be analyzing and compiling data from
all states over the next few years, while our project will be
completed during 2015.
Acknowledgments
We thank the EPA for funding NRSA research. We also thank Christine
Kolbe with the TCEQ for project oversight and assistance with private
landowner access and Robert Cook with the EPA for project oversight.
We also thank EIH staff, students, and volunteers that have spent long,
hot days in the field collecting page after page of data.
For Further Information
Please contact [email protected] More information on this and related projects can
be obtained at EIH webpage: www.eih.uhcl.edu
TCAFS: February 14, 2014