Assessing potential navigation impacts to the Kanawha river ecosystem: a modeling approach

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Virginia Tech

An extensive study of the biota of the Kanawha River was integrated to examine the trophic basis of fish production and predict potential impacts of increased tow traffic at two sites in the Winfield Pool. Total standing stock and production of adult fish were estimated as 242 kg/ha and 188 kg/ha/yr, respectively. Sixtyâ one species were categorized into six trophic groups. Trophic generalists (omnivores and herbivore/detritivores) consumed a variety of foods including considerable detritus. These groups accounted for 73 to 83% of total ichthyomass and 81% of total adult production. Total fish consumption at the more riverine upper site was partitioned into 35% l detritus, 28% invertebrates, 20% plant matter, 12% other fish, and 5% crayfish. At the lower, more lentic site the diet consisted of 34% detritus, 25% plant matter, 21% other fish, 17% invertebrates, and 3% crayfish. The overall basis of production relies upon imports of allochthonous materials.