Movements of channel and flathead catfish between the Missouri River and a tributary, Perche Creek
channel, catfish, streams, habitat, adult, mark-recapture, upstream
Journal or Book Title
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
The lower segments of tributary streams provide the only remaining backwater habitatfor much of the lower Missouri River. We describe the movements of adult channel catfish(Ictalurus punctatus) between a 13-km segment of the Missouri River and a tributary, PercheCreek, that enters the river in this segment to determine the extent to which river-dwelling fish usethe tributary habitats. We used mark-recapture techniques to describe movements offish largerthan 250 mm in total length between these habitats during a 22-month period. Most fish (59%)initially caught, recaptured, or both in the Missouri River moved into or out of Perche Creek, andmost of these transient fish (72%) used the lower 8 km of the tributary. The tributary populationwas made up predominantly of resident fish (79%), which were initially caught and recaptured inPerche Creek. Channel catfish moved greater distances in the spring than in the fall and weremore likely to move upstream in the spring and downstream in the fall. Fish shorter than 250 mmwere more abundant in the river than in the creek and made up 45 and 35% of the catches ineach area, respectively. Furthermore, of the fish longer than 280 mm, a greater proportion of thefish resident in the river (44%) than in the creek (33%) were longer than 380 mm. More fishlonger than 380 mm moved from the creek to the river (44%) than from the river to the creek(26%). Thus, the tributary habitat was used most frequently by fish 280 380 mm long. Flatheadcatfish (Pylodictis olivaris) were much less abundant in the creek than in the river and did notprovide sufficient sample sizes to evaluate movement patterns. However, based on abundancesin our catches, the proportion of river flathead catfish using the creek was much lower than forchannel catfish. Most of the few flathead catfish found in the creek were longer than 280 mm.