During 21 months of sampling with various techniques, we captured 24 species of fish in Britton Reservoir. Nine species comprised over 96% of the number of fish captured and approximately 88% of the biomass. Five native non-game species accounted for over 77% of the catches.
The native non-game fishes have maintained large populations in the reservoir despite continued introductions of non-native species. Two sources of non-native species exist. The first is the introduction of exotic species directly into the reservoir during fish-stocking programs. The second is the continuous movement of non-native fishes into the reservoir from large populations which reside in a major tributary of the reservoir. Factors responsible for the large number of native fishes are: management of the reservoir for hydroelectric generation; temperature regime; reservoir morphology.
The fish community structure is stratified along two axes: upper basin/lower basin and inshore/offshore. Most of the 24 species were found inshore: 14 species were found offshore. Four of the native non-game fishes were most abundant in the upper basin: three introduced non-native fishes were most abundant in the lower basin of the reservoir. The offshore community was dynamic on a daily and seasonal basis.