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

Arizona Project

Habitat Suitability Criteria for Non-Native Fishes in Intermediate-Sized Arizona Rivers

June 2016 - December 2021


Participating Agencies

  • USGS
Arizona Coop Unit scientists using a prepositioned electrofisher in an Arizona stream.

Nonnative fishes were stocked into Arizona streams, starting over 100 years ago, and are currently found in most streams of the state. Commonly, species introduced to Arizona are able to outcompete or predate on native Arizona stream fishes, and fish communities are entirely dominated by nonnatives. However, in some areas, nonnatives have not been able to outcompete native fishes, and both live together. Knowledge of the habitat used by selected nonnative fishes in Arizona streams is important for predicting where they might persist and how habitat might be managed to reduce their numbers or discourage their establishment when desired. We sampled four Arizona streams containing a variety of habitats and documented habitat used by nonnative fishes. Furthermore, we will develop habitat suitability curves for the nonnative fishes based on this use. This information will be useful for fisheries biologists to manage habitat of Arizona’s native and nonnative fish communities. Field work on this project commenced in the spring, 2017 and was completed in the fall, 2019. Data analysis is currently underway. Information will be presented in a publication and thesis. Partners include USFWS and USFS.