AuthorSchultz, Andrew Alan
AdvisorBonar, Scott A.
Committee ChairBonar, Scott A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractI studied habitat preferences of Gila chub in a canyon-bound system (Bonita Creek) and a marsh system (Cienega Creek). Gila chub in Bonita Creek, frequently occurred in a broader range of habitat types and conditions than Gila chub in Cienega Creek. Gila chub in Cienega Creek were highly pool oriented. In contrast, Gila chub in Bonita Creek generally preferred, or used in proportion, swifter shallower habitat types. Segregation between size classes in relation to habitat variables was noted, but was less than expected. I studied other life-history characteristics as well and found reproduction commencing in February, peaking in spring, and dropping off as summer begins. Spawning in the fall is suggested by the presence of small YOY and gonad development. I also evaluated methods to spawn and rear Gila chub. Following initial spawning, Gila chub spawned consistently in the laboratory without hormonal, chemical, photoperiod, or drastic temperature and substrate manipulation, during all times of the year. Spawns were noted at temperatures ranging from about 15 to 26°C but spawning above 24°C occurred infrequently. Larval Gila chub fed a commercial diet grew the same or slightly better than those fed thawed Artemia sp. nauplii, and significantly better than those fed chicken Gallus domesticus egg-yolk powder, but survived significantly better when fed Artemia. Despite the latter, observations suggest Artemia nauplii may be difficult for first-feeding larval Gila chub to handle. Thawed chironomid sp. larvae clearly outperformed prepared commercial feeds for small and large juvenile Gila chub with respect to growth. Growth of larval Gila chub was highest at 28ºC and lowest at 32ºC, while survival of larval Gila chub was highest at 24ºC and lowest at 20ºC. Spinal deformities were common (about 47%) for larval Gila chub reared at 32ºC but generally uncommon for those reared at lower temperatures. Water temperatures from 20-28ºC appear suitable for rearing larval Gila chub, with temperatures from 24-28ºC more optimal. Water temperatures from 20-29ºC appear suitable for rearing juvenile Gila chub. My data strongly support increasing rearing density having a negative effect on growth and survival (larval only) of Gila chub. Although populations of Gila chub share many natural history traits, my data suggests habitat use can vary among systems. It is possible unique preferences and strategies exist between different populations of Gila chub. Thus managers should be cautious about applying information based on one population to others. The future of Gila chub may someday depend in part on hatchery propagation to provide specimens for restocking formerly occupied habitats and establishing refuge populations. Information from my study can aid future efforts to successfully spawn and rear Gila chub and related species.
Degree ProgramNatural Resources