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Texoma river-reservoir interface habitats

In some reservoir systems including Lake Texoma, siltation has created disconnected cove habitats within the river-reservoir interface (RRI). The disconnected cove habitats superficially resemble floodplain backwater habitats, with periodic hydrologic connection and inundation coinciding with rising water levels. Floodplain-adapted fish species may benefit from the presence of these water bodies if they function similarly to floodplain backwaters or oxbows, which serve as important nursery grounds in lotic systems. We are investigating the following questions regarding novel habitats created by siltation in the RRI:

  • What is the taxonomic and functional structure of fish assemblages using Lake Texoma RRI habitats as nursery grounds?

  • How do hydrological connectivity and other habitat factors influence the abundance and diversity of larval and juvenile fishes using RRI habitats?

This research program includes Morgan Gilbert’s thesis work and is funded by the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative.  We are investigating the following questions:

Larval gar collected by Morgan Gilbert

Larval gar collected by Morgan Gilbert