Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Resilience of fish communities to extreme drought


June 2012 - December 2014


Our goal is to provide relevant information to refuge managers regarding recovery of the fish population as a consequence of drought, which is anticipated to increase in frequency in the future due to climate change. The objectives of this study are to:

1. Provide an updated comprehensive survey of fish communities in major waterbodies of the refuge, including the reservoir, post-drought,

2. Compare post-drought fish community data (proportional abundance according to species) to pre-drought levels (i.e., Ashbaugh et al. 1996),

3. Estimate the proportion of fishes available as forage to endangered interior least terns during their breeding season (May-August) at the refuge by quantifying monthly fish body size (total length and depth) according to species.

Research Products and Activities


  • Cartabiano, E.C. 2014. Excessive sedimentation in reservoirs: effects on fish communities and feeding efficiency. Master's thesis, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 7

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 26

Scientific Publications: 90

Presentations: 172



  • James LongPrincipal Investigator
  • Evan CartabianoStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit


Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
  2. Oklahoma State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute