Summer drawdown of Beulah Reservoir, Oregon, could adversely affect fish and invertebrate production, limit sport fishing opportunities, and hinder the recovery of threatened species. To assess the impacts of drawdown, we sampled fish and Chironomidae larvae in Beulah Reservoir in the springs of 2006 to 2008. The reservoir was reduced to 68% of full pool in 2006 and to run-of-river level in 2007. From spring 2006 to spring 2007, the catch per unit effort (CPUE) of fyke nets decreased significantly for dace [Rhinichthys spp.] and northern pikeminnow [Ptychocheilus oregonensis], increased significantly for suckers [Catastomus spp.] and white crappies [Pomoxis nigromaculatus], and was similar for redside shiners [Richardsonius balteatus]. CPUE of gillnets either increased significantly or remained similar depending on genera, and the size structure of redside shiners, suckers, and white crappies changed appreciably. From 2007 to 2008, the CPUE of northern pikeminnow, redside shiners, suckers, and white crappies decreased significantly depending on gear and the size structure of most fishes changed. Springtime densities of chironomid larvae in the water column were significantly higher in 2006 than in 2008, but other comparisons were similar. The densities of benthic chironomids were significantly lower in substrates that were frequently dewatered compared to areas that were partially or usually not dewatered. Individuals from frequently dewatered areas were significantly smaller than those from other areas and the densities of benthic chironomids in 2008 were significantly lower than other years. Summer drawdown can reduce the catch and alter the size structure of fishes and chironomid larvae in Beulah Reservoir.
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Vol. 87 • No. 3