Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Mississippi Project

Establishing vegetation in reservoir mudflats

August 2016 - July 2019


Participating Agencies


With a median age of 70 years, reservoirs in the USA are showing compelling signs of fish habitat degradation. Habitat losses are often most prominent in littoral zones and are driven by regular and sometimes extreme water level drawdowns mandated by the operational goals of the reservoir. These fluctuations generally limit successful establishment of aquatic and terrestrial plants. Consequently, expansive mudflats form along the shores of reservoirs that are aesthetically displeasing, promote erosion, increase water turbidity when flooded, and cause various ecological problems in aquatic ecosystems. To rejuvenate these fish habitats we are researching the establishment of agricultural plantings on mudflats. Cooperators in this research include Mississippi State University, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership and USGS. This study will produce guidelines that managers can follow for planting barren mudflats.