The southeastern blue sucker population in the lower Pearl River that runs through Louisiana has been impacted historically by numerous natural and anthropogenic habitat alterations, with collection records indicating a significant population decline in this system over recent decades. Electrofishing surveys, radio telemetry, and bathymetry and habitat mapping were used to examine relative abundance, movements, and habitat associations of southeastern blue sucker in the lower Pearl River. Relative abundance of southeastern blue sucker was lower relative to other large benthic Pearl River species. Radio telemetry surveys indicated southeastern blue suckers exhibited small home ranges, limited movements, and strong associations with upstream outside edges of deep bends that were characterized by gravel substrates and woody debris. Increased consideration for elevating southeastern blue sucker conservation status in the lower Pearl River system may be warranted given their high habitat specificity, apparent low recolonization potential, and susceptibility to continuing degradation of their associated habitats.
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Vol. 177 • No. 2