River-stage specific floodplain inundation models to identify suitable Alligator Gar spawning habitat

Authors: Jennifer Jensen*, Texas State University, David Hoeinghaus, University of North Texas
Topics: Biogeography, Applied Geography, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: habitat suitability, biogeography, hydrologic modeling
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a long-lived predatory fish species found throughout the southeastern United States, but overhunting and environmental degradation has significantly reduced their populations. To effectively conserve gar populations, identification of suitable spawning habitat is critical, however, studies examining suitable habitat have only recently been conducted. Here we use lidar-derived DEM data to model river-stage specific spawning habitat for the lower Trinity river in Texas. Flood inundation and depth maps were generated in Hec-Ras and combined with suitable land cover data obtained from the Texas Ecological Mapping Systems to identify potential spawning habitat. These maps will help guide field sampling, facilitate an improved understanding of recruitment and floodplain dynamics, and assist with identification of priority conservation areas.

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