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Bass fishing is an important recreational activity in Alabama reservoirs and a variety of factors (e.g. management activities, weather conditions, etc.) can influence angler success. Therefore, it is important to determine locations that allow anglers to make a decision regarding likelihood of success (i.e. catching fish) or the potential to catch larger fish (trophy fishing). Data collected from bass tournaments held on Alabama reservoirs via the Bass Anglers Information Team (BAIT) program were collected and analyzed for early season (April) catch rates for three reservoirs (Lake Guntersville, Lake Eufaula, and Weiss Lake). A significant difference was found between catch rates (using catch per unit effort, CPUE) and average bass size. Weiss Lake had a higher average CPUE and smaller average fish size and Lake Guntersville had higher average fish size but the lowest catch rate. Additionally, a positive correlation was found between CPUE and the number of days with minimum temperature at or below freezing. These results indicate that managers and tournament hosts should consider the severity of the previous winter and fishery when planning early season tournaments or angling activities.
In February of 2014, over 50,000 tons of coal ash was spilled from a retired power plant into the Dan River of North Carolina. Coal ash exposure can have either positive or negative effects on an ecosystem, largely depending on the concentration and species of the heavy metals it contains. The resulting alterations within an ecosystem can include both abiotic factors, such as the pH of contaminated soils or waterways, and biotic factors, including the viability and diversity of exposed organisms. Herein, we report that one year following the coal ash spill into the Dan River significant differences were observed in several abiotic factors of contaminated bank and channel soils, including pH and content of chromium, sulfur, and calcium. Furthermore, the density, diversity, and fitness of the microbes in soils exposed to coal ash were also altered when compared to reference samples. The implications of these variations are discussed.
Invasive species threaten biodiversity worldwide. Armored catfish, which are benthic grazers, have been introduced globally and damage ecosystems in numerous ways. However, their competitive interactions with native benthic grazers have not been tested. This study tested for the effects of an invasive armored catfish (Hypostomus plecostomus) on performance in native Rio Grande leopard frog (Rana berlandieri) tadpoles. Aquarium tests showed that armored catfish can negatively affect native amphibian survival and growth even when food is abundant. However, mesocosm tests showed no effects or competition. While the mechanisms of effect remain unclear this is the first study to demonstrate exotic armored catfish as a potential threat to native amphibians, which are declining globally.
The following chapters have sent in officer slates for 2016-2017. Officers are listed in the order of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, and Faculty Advisor unless otherwise noted. The chapters are listed alphabetically by Greek name. Please submit new slates, changes and corrections to Lori.Kelman@montgomerycollege.edu.