Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Resilience of fish communities to extreme drought


June 2012 - December 2014


Our goal is to provide relevant information to refuge managers regarding recovery of the fish population as a consequence of drought, which is anticipated to increase in frequency in the future due to climate change. The objectives of this study are to:

1. Provide an updated comprehensive survey of fish communities in major waterbodies of the refuge, including the reservoir, post-drought,

2. Compare post-drought fish community data (proportional abundance according to species) to pre-drought levels (i.e., Ashbaugh et al. 1996),

3. Estimate the proportion of fishes available as forage to endangered interior least terns during their breeding season (May-August) at the refuge by quantifying monthly fish body size (total length and depth) according to species.

Research Products and Activities


  • Cartabiano, E.C. 2014. Excessive sedimentation in reservoirs: effects on fish communities and feeding efficiency. Master's thesis, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 670

Scientific Publications: 1897

Presentations: 4202



  • James LongPrincipal Investigator
  • Evan CartabianoStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey