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Douglas B Osmundson

Fish larvae were annually sampled from May to late June or early July in the Gunnison River during 2002–2007 and in the upper Colorado River during 2004–2007 as a means to determine whether stocked razorback sucker Xyrauchen texanus were successfully reproducing. Shorelines were sampled weekly with fine-mesh hand seines at 1–6 locations per 8-km (5-mile) segment and preserved samples were identified to species at the Larval Fish Laboratory at Colorado State University. In the Gunnison River, 0–4 specimens positively identified as razorback sucker were found annually along with 1–22 specimens tentatively identified as razorback sucker. In the Colorado River, 1–13 positively identified razorback sucker...
Alteration of natural flow regimes by river regulation affects fish distribution and assemblage structure, but causative pathways are not always direct and may go unrecognized. The Colorado River population of the endangered Colorado pikeminnow, Ptychocheilus lucius, suffers from low rates of recruitment and reduced carrying capacity. We hypothesized that availability of prey fish for this large-bodied native piscivore may, in part, be limited by reduced standing crops of periphyton and macroinvertebrates resulting from accumulation of fine sediment in the riverbed. We stratified the 373-km-long study area into 11 strata and sampled various physical and biological parameters in runs and riffles of three randomly...
Growth and adult survival rates were estimated for the endangered Colorado squawfish Ptychocheilus lucius inhabiting the upper Colorado River by using data from fish captured during 1990–1995. Mean annual growth rates of fish aged 3–6 years ranged from 32.2 (age 6) to 82.0 (age 3) mm/year. Growth rates for older fish were highest for fish 400–449 mm total length, TL, (42.7 mm/year) and declined to 19.8 mm/year for fish 500–549 mm TL. Fish 550 mm and longer grew an average 9.5 mm/year. Survival rates for fish 550 mm and longer were estimated by comparing measured size distributions with simulated stable age and size distributions; these ranged from 0.83–0.87, with the best fit at 0.85. Though lack of historical...
The Colorado squawfish, Ptychocheilus lucius, the principal native piscivore of the Colorado River basin, was once widespread and abundant in large rivers and their major tributaries. It occurs today only in the upstream regions of its historic range and is threatened with extinction. Growth rate of the species there is much slower than its potential rate and the rate that might once have been typical in lower-basin rivers. We develop the hypothesis that the interaction of slow growth and increased early-life mortality is an important cause of the decline of Colorado squawfish in the upper basin. We use a growth-rate versus temperature relation for Colorado squawfish to compare temperature regimes of historic and...
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