Pelagic fish communities (waters with depths >20 m) of Lakes Powell and Mead were examined quarterly from 1995 to 1998 using vertical gill nets and a scientific echosounder. Nets captured a total of 449 fish consisting of striped bass (57%/45% [Lake Powell/Lake Mead]), threadfin shad (24%/50%), common carp (15%/4%), walleye (3%), channel catfish (2%), and rainbow trout (<1%). Each reservoir contained concentrations of pelagic species separated by expanses of habitat with few fish (<10 kg·ha⁻¹). Reservoirs experienced dramatic seasonal and annual fluctuations in pelagic biomass. Lake Powell's biomass peaked at the Colorado River at 709.7 (± 46.5) kg · ha⁻¹ and Lake Mead's reached 291.9 (± 58.2) kg · ha⁻¹ at Las Vegas Wash. These locations supported estimated fish densities of 124,668 fish · ha⁻¹ and 15,131 fish · ha⁻¹, respectively. Maximum reservoir biomass peaked in August 1996, with Lake Powell supporting 10,852,738 ± 5,195,556 kg (27.6 × 10⁻ fish) and Lake Mead 1,926,697 ± 892.994 kg (10.8 × 10⁻ fish). Biomass ebbed in May (1996 and 1997), when Lake Mead supported 65% (296,736 kg vs. 453,097 kg) and 62% (101,016 kg vs. 162,262 kg) of biomass levels found in Lake Powell.
|Title||Distribution and abundance of pelagic fish in Lake Powell, Utah, and Lake Mead, Arizona-Nevada|
|Authors||G.A. Mueller, M.J. Horn|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Western North American Naturalist|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|