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

Florida Project

Understanding and conserving gravel-bar fish assemblages in the Escambia River, Florida

May 2023 - December 2025


Participating Agencies

  • FWC

Gravel bars are dynamic riverine habitats important for the life-history processes of aquatic and terrestrial species. Relatively uncommon in the subtropical rivers of Florida, gravel bars have received little research attention in the Sunshine State from the perspective of fisheries research and management. What are the primary abiotic and biotic factors influencing gravel-obligate fish species and fish assemblages? How do these factors—and their effects on gravel-bar fishes—change over space and time? The importance of answering these questions is amplified by the fact that gravel bars support several Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Florida. The objectives of this project are to (1) evaluate fish assemblages in gravel bars within the Escambia River, with a special focus on fish Species of Greatest Conservation Need; and (2) assess the degree to which observed changes in gravel-bar fish assemblages are related to time of day, depth, season, and environmental factors.