Temporal Changes in the Fishes of Waller Creek and Invasion of the Variable Platyfish

Date

2018-05-03

Authors

Cohen, Adam
Hendrickson, Dean
Edwards, Robert

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Abstract

Waller Creek is an entirely urban creek flowing 11km through Austin, Travis County, Texas into Ladybird Lake. We gather the historic fish data, all held in our own Fishes of Texas Project database (Hendrickson and Cohen, 2018), for the creek and attempt to describe temporal change in the fauna of the creek. Minimal samples exist from the 1940’s and ’50s, but its fish fauna is rigorously sampled in the 1970’s when Edwards (1976) first formally surveyed the creek. It was uncollected in the 1980s. The Hendrickson lab, working with the public, local schools and universities, began sampling the creek in the 1990’s and continues to do so. These two sources (Edwards and Hendrickson Lab) are the main generators of data and we compared pre- and post-1980s data largely generated by these two sources. The fish fauna remains dominated by the same seven species Edwards collected in the 1970s (Gambusia affinis, Campostoma anomalum, Astyanax mexicanus, Lepomis megalotis, Lepomis cyanellus, Cyprinella lutrensis, and Herichthys cyanoguttatus), with the exception of an invasive species (Xiphophorus variatus), first detected in 2004, that is now the dominant species in the creek. Two of these seven species are firmly established non-natives (Astyanax mexicanus and Herichthys cyanoguttatus). Most of the less common native species collected in the 1970’s are no longer present (Ameiurus melas, Dionda flavipinnis, Fundulus zebrinus, Lepomis humilis, Lepomis macrochirus) or rare (Cyprinella venusta, Micropterus salmoides, Pimephales promelas) based on the data.

Description

This poster was presented at the second Waller Creek Symposium held on the University of Texas campus at the Recreational Sports Center on May 7, 2018.

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