Cooperative Research Units
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Variability of Waterbird Food Abundance Due to Agricultural Management Practices Within Rice Fields and Crawfish Ponds of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas


August 2012 - May 2015


Rice and crawfish aquaculture are dominant land uses in southwestern Louisiana and they encompass over 300,000 acres in the region. Wintering, breeding, and migrating waterbirds use these habitats extensively, however, little is known about food availability and how food availability varies according to land management practices. This study will evaluate the abundance, biomass, and species composition of fish, crawfish, and aquatic macroinvertebrates in the water column within selected rice and crawfish fields of southwestern Louisiana and southeast Texas. Collections will be made monthly for one year and the effects of land management practices on food availability will be deterimined. In addition, we will develop a classification system of rice and crawfish ponds based upon vegetation structure and density, water depths, and other variables to better understand the temporal distribution of habitat types.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4253



  • Sammy KingPrincipal Investigator
  • Cullen FoleyStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Gulf Coast Joint Venture


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey