Culture of Plains Topminnow in a Pond Constructed for Species Conservation

North American Journal of Aquaculture (Impact Factor: 0.71). 07/2012; 74(3):360-364. DOI: 10.1080/15222055.2012.675989

ABSTRACT The plains topminnow Fundulus sciadicus appears to be experiencing reductions in geographic range and local abundance, which has led to regional protection throughout its native range. Conservation of this species may require introductions to reestablish populations at known historic locations. Therefore, a pond was constructed during September 2007 to house a refuge population of plains topminnow in Nebraska. A total of 123 plains topminnow were stocked into the pond in two stocking events during 2008. Plains topminnow populations were sampled throughout 2008 and mark–recapture population estimates were conducted after reproductive events during 2009 and 2010 resulting in estimates of 9,844 ± 1,698 (mean ± SD) and 3,974 ± 452 plains topminnow, respectively. Mean fish weight was used as an estimate of pond biomass, which was 28.4 kg/ha in 2009 and 44.9 kg/ha in 2010. Reproduction was first observed in 2008 and in each following year, and a strong year-class was produced in 2009, which suggested there were factors that limited reproduction in the other 2 years. Extensive culture may be an effective way to rear plains topminnow and related species. However, more research is needed to determine factors that affect year-class strength and production.Received April 25, 2011; accepted February 8, 2012

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