Distribution, Habitat Use, Growth, and Condition of a Native and an Introduced Catfish Species in the Hudson River Estuary

Stephen M. Jordan, Robert M. Neumann, Eric T. Schultz
2004 Journal of Freshwater Ecology  
White catfish (Ameiurus catus) is native to the Hudson River and is now coexisting with the recently established channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). These species were sampled from four freshwater reaches and four habitat types of the Hudson River estuary to assess whether the two species overlapped in their habitat use, and whether any impact on the native species was evident. Catfishes were sampled in l99g and 1999 using baited hoop nets (1/:708 net nights). Catch-per-unit-effort (CpUE,
more » ... ber of fish per net night; total catch : 368) of white catfish was significantly different among reaches and habitat types; CPUE was greatest in the upstream leach, and in offshore shoal habitat. Channel catfish (total iatch = 344) *... n'or. abundant in offshore shoal habitats in upriver reaches, but were more abundant in nearshore and tributary mouth habitats in downstream reaches. Individuals of both species were largest upstream. Individual condition (as relative weight, l4r) variedwith reach in white catfish, and was low in a downstream reach; in contrast , LIrr did,not vary among reaches in channel catfish. white catfish grew slowly compared to channel catfish. Relative to populations in other water bodies in North America, Hudson River fishes of both species grew slowly in their first year, but otherwise grew at expected rates. Channel catfish are becoming more abundant in the Hudson Rivei, as whitscatfish appear to decline. Channel catfish establishment may be facilitated by greater nexiuitity in habitat use. u Present address: Keane, Inc.,
doi:10.1080/02705060.2004.9664513 fatcat:3phisfqdcrarpfx3qpg5lorbvu