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A taxonomic survey of the fishes of Delta National Wildlife Refuge with emphasis upon distribution and abundance
Kelly, J.R., Jr. (1965). A taxonomic survey of the fishes of Delta National Wildlife Refuge with emphasis upon distribution and abundance. MSc Thesis. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries: Baton Rouge. 133 pp.

    Brackish water; Fresh water

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  • Kelly, J.R., Jr.

    This study was conducted on Delta National Wildlife Refuge, situated in the estuarine portion of the Mississipi river from August 1963 to Febr. 1965. Determinations were made of fish distribution, abundance and relationship to salinity and temperature. Collections were made with an electric shocker, gill and trammel nets, otter trawl and rotenone. Block-off nets and rotenone were used to determine standing crop. Water analysis, including salinity and temperature were recorded at the sampling locations. A definite relationship of abundance and distribution was evident between fresh water fishes and salinity; however, salinity wasn't found to be a limiting factor to most marine species. Accessibility to ponds and temperature were found to be the controlling factors relating to distribution, abundance and seasonal occurrence of marine fishes. Fish collected represented 33 families and 79 species. Calculated from standing crop samples, Sciaenidae was the most abundant family of marine fishes and Centrarchidae was the most abundant fresh water family. Striped mullet and blue catfish were the most abundant species. This study area is being used as a nursery ground for several marine species. Young of Atlantic croaker, spot, sand seatrout, spotted seatrout and largescale menhaden were present seasonally throughout the study area. Adult marine species encountered on the refuge containing ripe eggs or young were Atlantic needlefish, Atlantic stingrays, bluntnose stingrays and gulf pipefish. Standing crops of fishes within the study area varied from 1,22 to 258,82 pounds per acre. Ponds south of Main Pass contained higher standing crops than those north of Main Pass.

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