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Full text of "An inventory of the fishes of Jordan Creek, Vermilion County, Illinois"

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LI E. RAF^Y 

OF THE 

UNIVERSITY 

or ILLINOIS 



cop. 2 



i.AiUKAL HISTORY 
SURVEY 



STATE OF ILLINOIS 

Adiai E. Stevenson, Governor 

DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION 

C. Hobart Engle, Director 



An Inventory of 

THE FISHES OF JORDAN CREEK, 

Vermilion County, Illinois 




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An Inventory of THE FISHES OF JORDAN CREEK, Vermilion County, Illinois 

R. Weldon Larimore, Quenfin H. Pickering, and Leonard Durhann* 



Many streams and small rivers transect the up- 
land prairies of Illinois. Most of them drain rich 
agricultural lands and are strongly influenced by the 
farming practices of surrounding areas. Some have 
been dredged. Probably all of them receive large 
amounts of surface water during periods of heavy 
rainfall. Usually the runoff water carries a heavy 
silt load, which causes the streams and rivers to 
become very turbid for a period of days or weeks. 
In some parts of Illinois, the streams are fed main- 
ly by springs, in others mainly by drainage tiles. 

A considerable number of these streams and 
small rivers support large populations of fishes, 
including several species of importance to anglers. 
In some parts of Illinois, stream fishing is a com- 
mon practice, but in most of the state it is confined 
to a comparatively few individuals who are some- 
what secretive about the sources of their catches. 
Consequently, the average Illinois angler thinks of 
fishing in terms of lakes. 

Most of the fishery investigations on the 
smaller streams of Illinois have considered princi- 
pally the distribution of species as related to the 
stream habitat (Forbes & Richardson 1920; 
Thompson & Hunt 1930). The concept of managing 
the stream habitat and the fishes of a stream for 
the improvement of angling has received 
little consideration. 

As a preliminary to the development of fish 
management techniques for small streams, an inten- 
sive study of the fishes of Jordan Creek, a tributary 
of the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River in Vermilion 
County, east central Illinois, was begun in July, 
1950. This study has been almost continuous since 
that time. The material included in this report is 
largely an analysis of an intensive inventory of the 
fish population made between July 25 and 
September 5, 1950. 



Acknowledgments 

The investigation reported here is part of the 
fisheries program of the Illinois Natural History 
Survey and has been jointly supported by the 
Survey and the Illinois Department of Conservation. 
Dr. George \V. Bennett supervised the organization 
of the project and offered valuable suggestions for 



this report. Mr. Sam A. Parr, Superintendent of 
Fisheries, Department of Conservation, co-operated 
in this program by arranging for funds to aid 
the investigation. 



Methods and Procedure 

Field operations on Jordan Creek were begun 
by a crew of two or three men during the last week 
in July, 1950. Beginning at the mouth of the creek, 
the crew worked each pool and riffle with an elec- 
tric apparatus that stunned but did not kill the fish. 
As the crew moved upstream, the pools were num- 
bered and described. Continuous sampling was 
stopped at a distance of 4.02 miles above the 
stream mouth because sample collections indicated 
that few if any game fish were present above 
this point. 

The electric apparatus for stunning the fish 
was operated from a portable 115- volt alternating 
current generator. At the beginning of the opera- 
tion, two hand-carried electrodes were used in a 
manner described by Shetter (1947). Later an elec- 
tric seine, a modification of that described by Funk 
(1949), was used in all collecting. This electric 
seine, 21 feet in length, allowed a complete sweep 
of the stream, fig. 1, except in a few especially 
wide pools. The difference in efficiency of these 
two fish shockers was not determined. The elec- 
tric seine, however, was faster to use because it 
was effective over a greater area at one time. 
Stunned fish were picked up in dip nets. The 
quarter-inch mesh of the nets largely determined 
the minimum size of fish collected. 

Game and pan fishes that were stunned by the 
electrical current and collected were kept alive in 
tubs and later released at the points of capture. 
Prior to release, the total length of each of these 
fish was recorded, scale samples were taken, and 
one or more fins were clipped for later recognition 
of the fish. Fin marks were changed at intervals 
of about a quarter mile of stream distance. Weights 
were taken of enough specimens to determine the 
length-weight relationship for each species and to 
allow an estimate of the weight of the fish that 
were only measured for lengths. Fish other than 
those considered as game and pan species were 



♦R. Weldon Latimote, Assistant .■\quatic Biologist, Illinois Natural History Survey; Quentin H. Pickering, at time of inventory, 
Technical Assistant, Illinois Department of Conservation; Leonard Durham, at time of inventory. Technical Assistant, Illinois 
Natural History Survey. 




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removed fiom the stream, placed immediately in 
chipped ice, and brought to the laboratory for iden- 
tifying, counting, and weighing. Fifty-two separate 
collections were made in this initial inventory. 

After the initial inventory had been completed 
on September 5, 1950, the 4-mile length of stream 
under intensive study was marked off into eight 
divisions for further investigation of the stream it- 
self and of the fish found in each division. As the 
divisions were set up, no pool was split; each pool 
was entirely within a single division. Fortunately, 
the lower seven divisions could be made equal in 
length (0.53 mile each), as determined from topo- 
graphic maps and aerial photographs. Since these 
lower seven divisions were each slightly over one- 
half mile in extent, the eighth division of the 
4-mile length was shorter than the others, only 
0.31 mile in length. Deeper water and shade under 
a concrete road bridge that marked the upper limit 
of this last division attracted a concentration of 
fishes at that point. The fish populations cen- 
sused in this division, even though modified by the 
shorter length of the stream and by the bridge, 
were compared with the populations in the 
other divisions. 

During the months of September, October, and 
November, 1950, many pools were reworked once to 
several times. The same procedures were followed 
as were used during the initial census, except that 
the fishes returned to the stream were marked with 
numbered opercular tags. By repeated censuses of 
certain pools, much information was gathered con- 
cerning fish movements and the effects of removing 
a large percentage of the forage fish population. 
The fish taken in these repeat censuses are not 
included in the original tabulations, tables 2-9. 
However, several additional species collected 
during the fall months are included in the species 
list, table 1, and in the discussion of species. 



Description of Drainage Bosin 

Jordan Creek, a warm- water stream 11 miles 
long, drains a glaciated area of 10.6 square miles 
in the southern part of Vermilion County. During 
the Glacial Epoch, at least two ice sheets, the 
Illinoian and the Wisconsin, covered this region. 
The more recent Wisconsin glacier largely deter- 
mined the topography and soils. The source of 
Jordan Creek is in a part of Vermilion County that 
was left as a flat, marshy area by the last 
glaciation. The soils of this flat area are primarily 
of two types: Drummer clay loam and Brenton silt 
loam (Wascher, Smith, & Smith 1938). These soils 



were formed under slough-grass and prairie-grass 
vegetation. Because of the poor natural drainage 
of this flat land, the upper half of Jordan Creek was 
dredged to improve the drainage and make these 
soils suitable for farming. 

The stream flows northward out of this flat 
land into an area of rolling to rough topography. 
Here the stream has not been dredged. In this 
lower part of Jordan Creek is the 4-mile study 
section, which is divided naturally into two con- 
trasting habitats of about equal lengths: a lower, 
wooded area and an upper, open area. 

Lower, WoodeJ Area. --This area, which in- 
cludes the first 2 miles above the mouth of Jordan 
Creek, covers the lower four divisions of the study 
section, fig. 2. Here the rough, rolling land through 
which the stream flows has scattered ridges of 
glacial materials and frequent outcroppings of 
bedrock. 

In this area Jordan Creek falls an average of 
24 feet per mile. Flowing rapidly across the ex- 
posed edges of underlying rock strata as it neais 
the Vermilion River, the stream forms more frequent 
pools and steeper riffles than in the upper area. 
Besides the siltstone, sandstone, and shale that 
comprise the bedrock, gravel is a predominant 
bottom material. Sand and silt bottoms are not 
common. Midway in this lower, wooded area, the 
volume of stream flow is approximately 18.6 cubic 
feet per second at average water levels. 

Heavy vegetation covers most of the stream 
banks in the lower area, fig. 3. American elms, 
sugar maples, silver maples, cottonwoods, syca- 
mores, and many other large trees shade the water. 
Even away from the wooded creek margins there 
are extensive stands of hardwood timber. Farming 
is limited primarily to stock raising on permanent 
pastures. Vance silt loam is the common soil type 
in the lower half of the study section (Wascher, 
Smith, & Smith 1938). This soil erodes easily, so 
that plowing is limited to a few flat areas and small 
garden plots. 

Upper, Open Area. --The upper half of the 
study section, which is in open farm and pasture 
land, includes the 2 miles of stream in the upper 
four divisions, fig. 2. The topography of this area 
is flat to rolling. Generally only 10 to 15 feet of 
soil covers the bedrock, but there are no out- 
croppings except in the bed of Jordan Creek. The 
stream has cut through the overlying soil, so that 
its gradient and bottom materials are determined 
largely by the bedrock. 

In this area, in contrast to the wooded area, 
the stream flows over the flat surfaces of rock 
strata and only occasionally cuts entirely through 




Fig. 3. — A part of the lower, wooded area of Jordan Creek, showing steep riffles, short, rocky pools, 
and dense, shading vegetation. 




Fig. 4. -- A long pool in the upper, open area of Jordan Creek. 



I 



a layer. The open area has fewer steep riffles than 
the wooded area. The pools are long and quiet, 
fig. 4. The stream gradient averages 9.7 feet per 
mile and there is a flow of about 12.9 cubic feet 
per second at average water levels. Even though 
bedrock and coarse gravel comprise the dominant 
bottom materials, there are extensive accumulations 
of sand and silt in the long pools. 

Catlin silt loam is the predominant soil type 
(Wascher, Smith, & Smith 1938) in the upper half of 
the study section. This soil does not erode easily 
and it is suitable for alfalfa, clover, corn, and soy- 
beans. The land is farmed rather intensively and, 
even though about one-thiid of it is in permanent 
pasture, there are few trees. Most of the stream 
in this half of the study section is exposed to 
direct sunlight, fig. 4, being shaded in only a few 
places by groups of cottonwoods and American 
elms or low, overhanging shrubs. 

The sharp contrast between these two habitats, 
figs. 3 and 4, affords an opportunity to evaluate the 
influence of various environmental conditions on 
the stream fauna. The situation produced by these 
very different habitats is unusual in that features 
ordinarily associated with lower parts of streams- 
low gradient, long pools, and slow current--are 
characteristic of the upper, open area, whereas the 
more typical upstream features are found in the 
lower, wooded area. 



Composition of the Fish Population 

Quantitative data on the fish population of 
Jordan Creek, as given below and in tables 2-9, 
include only those fish actually collected during 
the initial census (July 25 through September 5, 
1950); no estimates are given of the numbers missed 
in collecting, and no attempt is made to evaluate 
the population during other times of the year. 

After a period of high water in the fall of 
1950, several species were taken that were not 
represented in the first inventory. These species 
are included in the list of 40 species, table 1, and 
mentioned in the discussion of families. The 
common names of fishes are used throughout the 
discussions. These names, as well as the sci- 
entific names in table 1, are those suggested by 
the American Fisheries Society (1948), except as 
indicated otherwise. 

Tables 2-7 are set up to show the distribution 
of most species in the study section. The species 
in each table are arranged in descending order of 
weight represented in the take; those represented 
by only a few specimens are not included. Since 



attempts have been made to classify streams on 
the basis of the fish family that dominates them- 
as bass streams, sucker streams, or minnow 
streams-the distribution patterns of families are 
also considered and then a summary is given, tables 
8 and 9, for the five most abundant families. 

In the brief discussions of species that follow 
in systematic order, the distribution of fishes in 
the study section is considered in relation to four 
primary ecological factors-stream gradient, amount 
of water shaded, dominant bottom material, and use 
of the surrounding land. Table 10 is a summary of 
this relationship. 

Sucker Family 

The suckers varied more in abundance in the 
several divisions of the stream than either the 
minnows or sunfishes, table 8. The actual number 
of suckers collected in each division of the stream 
was approximately inversely proportional to the 
stream gradient, whereas the actual weight seemed 
to be related to the number of larger pools in each 
division. In relation to the other families of 
fishes, the suckers increased in abundance from the 
mouth of the stream up through Division 4 but 
decreased progressively farther upstream, table 9. 
The distribution of each sucker species is dis- 
cussed in the following paragraphs and summarized 
in table 2. 

Quiliback.— Fish of this species showed a 
preference for the soft mud bottoms and slow 
currents of the upper, open part of the stream. Of 
167 specimens taken in seven collections, all but 
1 were from the open area and 104 of these were 
from Division 8. The single specimen from the 
lower half of the study section was exceptional 
also in being the only specimen over 1 year of age. 

White Sucker. — The larger individuals of this 
species were taken in relatively deep pools, partic- 
ularly associated with rock ledges and moderate 
current. They usually attempted to avoid the 
electrical shock by swimming ahead but seemed 
especially sensitive to the electric current when 
forced to turn into the effective field. The fisher- 
men around Jordan Creek catch this sucker during 
the spring months and value it highly as a 
food fish. 

Hog Sucker. "By weight, the hog sucker was 
the most abundant fish in Jordan Creek. The young 
fish of this species were found in shallow riffles, 
whereas the adults usually were taken just below 
riffles in gravel-bottomed pools of moderate depth. 
The hog sucker and the white sucker frequently 
occurred together in collections but usually were 



. Table 1. -- Common and scientific names of the fishes collected in Jordan Creek, 1950. Most 
names used are those given in Special Publication No. 1 of the American Fisheries Society (1948). 



Common Name 



Scientific Name 



SUCKER FAMILY 

Ouillback 
White sucker 
Hog sucker 
Creek chubsucker 
Spotted sucker 
Golden redhorse 

MINNOW FAMILY 
Carp 

Creek chub 
Hornyhead chub 
Rosyface shiner* 
Redfin shiner 
Common shiner 
Spotfin shiner* 
Sand shiner 
Suckermouth minnow* 
Silverjaw minnow* 
Fathead minnow 
Bluntnose minnow 
Stoneroller 

CATFISH FAMILY 

Black bullhead 
Yellow bullhead 
Stonecat 
Brindled madtom* 

PIKE FAMILY 

Grass pickerel 

KILLIFISH FAMILY 

Starhead topminnow 

PERCH FAMILY 

Blackside darter* 
Logperch 
Johnny darter 
Rainbow darter 
Orangethroat darter* 
Fantail* 
Greenside darter* 

SUNFISH FAMILY 

Smallmouth black bass 
Largemouth black bass 
Warmouth 
Green sunfish 
Bluegill 

Orangespotted sunfish 
Longear sunfish 
Rock bass 



CATOSTOMIDAE 

Carpiodes cyprinus (Le Sueur) 
Catostomus commersonnii (Lacepede) 
Hypentelium nigricans (Le Sueur "> 
Erimyzon ob l ongus (Mitchill) 
Minytrema melanops ( Rafinesque) 
Moxostoma eryth rurum (Rafinesque) 

CYPRINIDAE 

Cyp rinus ca rpio Linnaeus 
Semotilus atromaculatus (Mitchill) 
Nocomis biguttatus (Kirtland) 
Notropis rubellus (Agassiz) 
Notropis umbratilis (Girard) 
Notropis cornutus (Mitchill) 
Notropis spilopterus (Cope) 
Notropis deliciosus (Girard) 
Phenacobius mirabilis (Girard) 
E ricymba buccata C ope 
Pimephales promelas R a f ine s q ue 
Hyborhynchus notatus (Rafinesque) 
Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) 

AMEIURIDAE 

Ameiurus melas (Rafinesque) 
Ameiurus natalis (Le Sueur) 
Noturus flavus Rafinesque 
Schilbeodes miurus (Jordan) 

ESOCIDAE 

Esox vermiculatu s Le Sueur 

CYPRINODONTIDAE 

F undulus notatus (Rafinesque) 

PERCIDAE 

Hadropterus maculatus (Girard) 
Percina caprodes (Rafinesque) 
Boleosoma nigrum (Rafinesque) 
Poecilichthys caeruleus (Storer) 
Poecilichthys spec tabilis Agassiz 
Poecilichthys flabellaris (Rafinesque) 
Etheostoma blennioides Rafinesque 

CENTRARCHIDAE 

Micropterus dolomieu Lacepede 
Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) 
Chaenobryttus coronarius (Bartram) 
Lepomis cyanellus Rafinesque 
Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque 
Lepomis humilis (Girard) 
Lepomis megalotis (Rafinesque) 
Ambloplites rupestris (Rafinesque) 



I 



•Not given in the American Fisheries Society list; from Hubbs & Lagler (1947). 



Table 2. — Number and weight (in pounds) of each of the species of suckers collected, I'^SO, in each 
of the eight divisions of Jordan Creek, and the total number and total weight of each species collected in 
all divisions combined. 





Hog 


White 




Golden 






Creek 


Division 


Sucker 


Sucker 


Redhorse 


Quillback 


Chubsucker 




Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


106 i 8.25 


40 


1.83 


16 


1.43 


- - - 




tf - - 





2 


211 i 18.56 


12 


2.15 


17 


2.62 


1 


0.12 


1 


0.05 


3 


223 i 16.92 


50 


4.28 


14 


1.06 





. . . 


1 


0.01 


4 


249 15.08 


136 


13.59 


18 


1.51 


— 


... 


6 


0.55 


5 


523 1 17.53 


29 


1.04 


184 


1.80 


4 


0.07 


2 


0.14 


6 


444 9.47 


97 


12.52 


395 


4.10 


32 


0.53 


— 


— 


7 


343 7.74 


42 


3.29 


210 


4.20 


26 


0.59 


2 


0.17 


8 


259 2.65 


7 


0.09 


170 


1.23 


104 


2.77 


10 


0.36 


All 


1 


















divisions 


2,358 96.20 


413 


38.79 


1.024 


17.95 


167 


4.08 


22 


1.28 



not abundant in the same pools, indicating a 
difference in habitat preferences. Like the white 
sucker, the hog sucker showed a tendency to move 
ahead of the shocker. Occasionally it was able to 
dash through the electrical field without becoming 
completely incapacitated. When stunned, it would 
sink to the bottom rapidly and for this reason was 
often difficult to collect. 

Creek Chubsucker. -- Fish of this species 
appeared in only 11 collections in the study area. 
Upstream above the study area, they were more 
abundant; 2.5 times as many specimens were taken 
in two short upstream sample stations (each 200 feet 
long) than were collected in the entire study area. 

Spotted Sucker. "Only one specimen of this 
species was collected. It was taken in Division 3 
after a heavy rain in October and presumably had 
moved up the stream from the Salt Fork River, where 
the species was rather abundant. 

Golden Redhorse. -- This species was rep- 
resented in 79 per cent of the collections, but 95 
per cent of the specimens were taken from the soft- 
bottomed, slow-flowing waters in the open area. 
They were usually in small schools of four to six 
individuals. All but 27 of the redhorse collected 
were of the 1950 brood (young-of-the-year) and 
only 4 of the 27 were unquestionably of adult size. 



Minnow Fa 



mi ly 



The minnows were the dominant fish family in 
the Jordan Creek study area, comprising 75 per 
cent of the total number and 38 per cent of the 



total weight of all fish collected. There was a 
marked increase in theit numbers from the wooded 
to the open area, table 8; the wooded area yielded 
30 per cent, the open area 70 per cent, of the total 
number collected. The increase in weight was not 
so evident, indicating that the minnows from the 
wooded area were larger in average size than those 
from the upper, open area. In each division the 
minnows were more numerous than the fish of all 
other families combined, and only in Division 4 
was their weight exceeded by the fish of any other 
one family--by the suckers and the sunfishes, table 
9. In this division the stoneroller, which comprised 
39 per cent of the weight of all minnows collected, 
was at its lowest level of abundance, table 3. Of 
the 13 species of minnows present in the study 
section, 3 species--the stoneroller, the homyhead 
chub, and the bluntnose minnow--made up 73 per 
cent of the total weight of this family. 

Corp.. -One immature specimen taken in 
Division 4 was the only representative of this 
species in our collections. 

Creek Chub. -- Individuals of this species were 
taken in all but one collection. Their numbers 
increased progressively upstream, whereas their 
average size decreased. 

Hornyhead Chub. -- This species was the second 
most abundant minnow by weight and was rep- 
resented in every collection. The larger individuals 
were found at the upper ends of fairly deep pools, 
usually in constricted riffles having currents of 
moderate velocity. 

Rosyface Shiner. -- Although this minnow was 



Table 3. — Number and weight (in pounds) of each of the 10 most abundant species of minnows 
collected, 1950, in each of the eight divisions of Jordan Creek, and the total number and total weight of 
each species collected in all divisions combined. 



Division 


Stoneroller 


Hornyhead 
Chub 


Bluntnose 
Minnow 


Creek 
Chub 


Silver] aw 
Minnow 




Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


1,791 


16.25 


90 


2.64 


302 


1.40 


128 


2.20 


58 


0.22 


2 


761 


13.81 


138 


5.92 


581 


3.21 


142 


1.51 


127 


0.53 


3 


931 


9.63 


211 


7.90 


574 


3.12 


273 


2.67 


265 


1.07 


4 


515 


5.34 


164 


6.43 


680 


3.71 


245 


1.28 


298 


0.94 


5 


1,879 


18.02 


314 


6.43 


1,384 


7.42 


277 


1.70 


637 


2.38 


6 


1,386 


8.96 


398 


5.07 


1,716 


7.30 


471 


1.66 


1,349 


3.59 


7 


733 


7.58 


326 


5.52 


1,198 


6.27 


643 


3.58 


954 


3.54 


8 


1,834 


9.67 


430 


3.43 


663 


3.51 


781 


2.47 


1,471 


4.11 


All 






















divisions 


9,830 


89.26 


2,071 


43.34 


7,098 


35.94 


2,960 


17.07 


5,159 


16.38 





Common 


Sand 


Suckermouth 


Spotfin 


Redfin 


Division 


Shiner 


Shiner 


Minnow 


Shiner 


Shiner 




Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


174 


4.05 


3 


0.01 


75 


0.73 


5 


0.04 


15 


0.04 


2 


154 


3.53 


4 


0.02 


74 


0.77 


7 


0.03 


2 


+ 


3 


139 


3.11 


2 


0.01 


90 


1.12 


4 


0.02 


4 


0.01 


4 


142 


3.34 


16 


0.08 


10 


0.09 


18 


0.13 


33 


0.09 


5 


88 


0.45 


288 


1.13 


30 


0.25 


9 


0.05 


10 


0.03 


6 


97 


1.05 


784 


2.64 


30 


0.21 


22 


0.13 


10 


0.02 


7 


22 


0.52 


616 


2.20 


17 


0.09 


128 


0.68 


35 


0.15 


8 


10 


0.08 


631 


2.06 


9 


0.10 


80 


0.59 


27 


0.12 


All 






















divisions 


826 


16.13 


2,344 


8.15 


335 


3.36 


273 


1.67 


136 


0.46 



+ Less than 0.01 pound. 



common in the Salt Fork River, only one specimen 
was collected in Jordan Creek. It was taken in 
Division 3 after heavy fall rains. Forbes & 
Richardson (1920) called this species Notropis 
rubrifrons and recorded it as being present in 
Illinois only in the Mississippi River drainage of 
the northern third of the state. Thompson & Hunt 
(1930) did not record it from Champaign County. 

Redfin Shiner. -- This minnow was rather scarce 
in Jordan Creek collections, even though it is 
generally abundant in the smaller, slow-flowing 
streams of the Wabash River drainage in central 
Illinois. 



Common Shiner. --The weight and number of 
minnows of this species decreased progressively 
upstream. Eighty-seven per cent of the weight 
was taken in the wooded area. The greatest 
numerical abundance was in Division 1 and was 
associated with shade, rocky riffles, and short, 
shallow pools. The larger individuals were found 
in narrow but moderately deep riffles with 
swift currents. 

Spotfin Shiner. — This species, Notropis spilop- 

terus , and a very similar species, N. whipplii, were 
both present in the Salt Fork River, but only the 
former was collected in Jordan Creek. It showed a 



10 



decided preference for the slow-flowing, soft- 
bottomed pools of Divisions 7 and 8. 

Sand Shiner. --The sand shiner showed a sharp 
change in abundance between the wooded and open 
areas, with 99 per cent of the individuals coming 
from the upper, sunny area. Notropis volucellus, 
which closely resembles the sand shiner, was 
present in the Salt Fork River but was not collected 
in Jordan Creek. 

Suckermouth Minnow. —Minnows of this species 
were most abundant in divisions of the wooded 
area and were associated with a steeper gradient 
and harder bottom than are found farther upstream. 
They were usually collected in riffles of moderate 
current and depth. 

Silverjaw Minnow. — The weights and numbers 
of minnows of this species increased in an 
upstream direction. There was a distinct rise in 
abundance from the wooded area to the open area; 
86 per cent of the specimens were collected in the 
open area. Moore, Pollock, & Lima (1950) pointed 
out that this minnow is morphologically adapted to 
tolerate intense light over a bright sandy bottom. 

Fathead Minnow. --One specimen of the fat- 
head was collected in Division 3 following high 
water stages during the fall. Forbes & Richardson 
(1920) reported that in Illinois this species is 
practically limited to the Mississippi River drain- 
age, as they collected it from only four localities 
in the headwaters of the Embarrass River of the 
Ohio River drainage. Gerking (1945) had few 
records for it in western Indiana. 

Bluntnose Minnow. -- This, the second most 



numerous minnow in the study section, appeared in 
every collection. The greatest numbers were taken 
in quiet waters over soft bottoms in the open area. 
Its abundance was inversely proportional to the 
steepness of the stream gradient. 

Stoneroller. -- In number the stoneroller was 
the most abundant fish in the study section; in 
total weight it was exceeded by only the hog 
sucker. Minnows of this species, present in every 
collection, seemed to prefer narrow, shallow pools 
with gravel bottoms and rapid currents. 

Catfish Family 

The four species belonging to this family 
comprised a relatively small part of the total fish 
population of the Jordan Creek study section, 
table 9. These species, table 4, can be separated 
into two groups, based on habitat preferences: (1) 
the bullheads, which seek mud banks along larger 
pools, and (2) the stonecat and madtom, which in- 
habit rocky areas of moderate to swift currents. 
Because of differences in habitat preferences of 
the species represented and because of great 
differences in average size of individuals of these 
species, there was comparatively litUe correlation 
between the numbers and the weights of catfish 
taken in the eight divisions, table 8. The yellow 
buUhead made up 86 per cent of the total weight of 
representatives of the family. 

Block Bullhead. " Four specimens of this 
species were collected. They were taken in three 
collections, each of which included yellow bullheads. 



Table 4. -- Number and weight (in pounds) of each of the species of catfishes collected, 1950, in 
each of the eight divisions of Jordan Creek, and the total number and total weight of each species 
collected in all divisions combined. 



Division 


Yellow Bullhead 


Stonecat 


Black Bullhead 


Brindled 


Madtom 




















Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


5 


1.11 


21 


0.89 




.... 


15 


0.16 


2 


3 


0.65 


17 


0.60 


-- 





3 


0.04 


3 


8 


1.74 


6 


0.25 


-- 





-- 





4 


20 


3.94 


1 


0.07 


1 


0.25 


-- 





5 


23 


2.69 


-- 





-- 





-- 





6 


9 


0.39 


-- 





-- 





-- 





7 


33 


1.35 


-- 





1 


0.16 


-- 





8 


54 


3.66 


-- 





2 


0.17 


-- 





AH 


















divisions 


155 


15.53 


45 


1.81 


4 


0.58 


18 


0.20 



11 



Yellow Bullhead. -- This is the common bull- 
head of Jordan Creek, and specimens were taken in 
all eight divisions. Because of their dark color 
and preference for cover along the stream bank, 
yellow bullheads were difficult to collect with an 
electric shocker. Most of the young-of-the-year 
were found at the edges of shallow riffles. The 
largest individual collected was 9.7 inches in 
length and weighed 0.55 pound. 

Stonecat. — Fish of this species were collected 
in only the four lower divisions of the study section, 
where generally they were found under stones in 
the larger riffles. 

Brindled Madtom. -- The madtom was taken in 
eight collections. Six of these collections also 
contained the stonecat. The madtom was restricted 
to rapids of the lower area, occurring in only 
Divisions 1 and 2. 

Darter Family 

The numerical abundance of darters in relation 
to the other families of fishes, table 9, was directly 
proportional to the steepness of the stream gradient. 
The actual numbers and weights of darters collected 
in each division, table 8, was influenced largely 
by the abundance of the four common species, table 
5. For example, the greatest weight of darters was 
recorded for Division 1, where the large green- 
side darter was abundant. 

Blockside Darter. — Only six specimens of this 
darter were taken. These were in separate collec- 
tions and all were from the wooded area, in water 
of moderate depth and velocity. 

Logperch. — One specimen was taken in a 
shallow, sandy pool in the upper area. 



Johnny Darter.-- This species was found in 
somewhat deeper waters than were the other darters 
and, because of this, it was more difficult to 
collect with the electric shocker. It was taken in 
greatest numbers in the upper three divisions, 
where it was associated with sandy bottoms. 

Rainbow Darter. --The abundance of this 
darter decreased progressively upstream. It was 
most numerous in the larger, steeper riffles of the 
wooded area. 

Orangethroat Darter. -- This species closely 
resembles the rainbow darter in appearance, but 
its distribution in Jordan Creek was strikingly un- 
like that of the rainbow, fig. 24. Orangethroats 
increased in numbers upstream; 85 per cent of the 
specimens were taken in the upper, exposed area. 
Usually they were found either just above, below, 
or at the edges of the riffles and not so frequently 
in the most rapid currents. 

Fantail. --This was the most numerous darter 
in Jordan Creek. It was commonly taken at the 
edge of, or just above, riffles and was more nu- 
merous in the upper half of the study area than in 
the lower. 

Greens ide Darter. -- Rapid, rocky riffles were 
the characteristic habitat for this darter, which was 
more abundant in the wooded part of the study area 
than in the open part. 

Sunfish Family 

By weight, fish of the sunfish family appeared 
to be about equally distributed between the lower, 
wooded area and the upper, open area; by number, 
71 per cent were taken in the open area, table 8. 
This lack of weight-number consistency was the 



Table 5. — Number of each of the species of darters collected, 1950, in each of the eight divisions of 
Jordan Creek, and the total number of each species collected in all divisions combined. 



Division 


Fantail 


Greenside 


Orangethroat 


Rainbow 


Johnny 


Blackside 


1 


56 


135 


96 


173 


2 


3 


2 


27 


129 


7 


121 


1 


1 


3 


56 


138 


7 


78 


1 


-- 


4 


86 


63 





78 


4 


2 


5 


157 


91 


128 


31 


4 


-- 


6 


173 


91 


139 


51 


13 




7 


186 


66 


144 


27 


8 


1 


8 


210 


35 


219 


15 


'1 


1 


All 














divisions 


951 


748 


740 


574 


40 


6 



\ 



\ 



12 



r Table 6. — Number and weight (in pounds) of each of the species of sunfishes collected, 1950, in each 

of the eight divisions of Jordan Creek, and the total number and total weight of each species collected 
in all divisions combined. 





Longear 


Smallmouth 


Rock 






Sunfish 


Black Bass 


Bass 




Division 












Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


69 


3.32 


48 


4.99 


14 




3.72 


2 


91 


6.62 


62 


16.91 


12 




5.04 


3 


87 


6.41 


50 


12.73 


3 




0.97 


4 


201 


11.92 


53 


13.58 


1 




0.35 


5 


451 


16.75 


52 


9.59 


— 







6 


371 


14.97 


61 


9.67 


— 







7 


384 


12.86 


19 


1.22 


— 







8 


361 


12.29 


24 


3.64 


... 







All 
















divisions 


2,015 


85.14 


369 


72.33 


30 




10.08 





Green 
Sunfish 


Blue gill 


Largemouth 
Black Bass 




Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 
2 
3 
4 

8 


19 
10 
13 

51 
101 
66 
28 
30 


0.58 
0.37 
0.33 
1.35 
2.93 
1.92 
0.76 
0.82 


3 

7 

10 

32 

13 

25 

6 

5 


0.06 
0.16 
0.20 
0.82 
0.34 
0.63 
0.16 
0.15 


11 

15 

9 

6 


0.81 
0.49 
0.43 
0.51 


^ All 
T divisions 


318 


9.06 


101 


2.52 


41 


2.24 



result of great differences in size and abundance 
between the bass and the other sunfishes. The 
bass were relatively few in number and large. The 
other sunfishes were numerous and small. In 
Division 1, both the total number and the total 
weight percentages of the sunfish family were low, 
table 8, because of a scarcity of pools. In 
Divisions 2, 3, and 4 the percentages of total 
number were comparatively low while those of total 
weight were high. In these divisions were found 
most of the larger bass, table 6. 

Smallmouth Black Bass. --By weight, 67 per 
cent of the fish of this species were collected in 
the lower area, associated with more shade, deeper 



pools, steeper gradient, and more cover than were 
present in the upper area. The adults were taken 
usually in the deeper water of pools where there 
was such cover as boulders or root-masses. The 
young, however, were found most often in or neat 
the riffle areas. 

Largemouth Black Bass. -- The largemouth was 
taken only in the upper, open area, where the low 
stream gradient and absence of shade produced long 
warm pools with only moderate currents. 

Warmouth. -- Two specimens were taken in 
Division 5 during fall recheck censuses. Since this 
species was not present in the earlier collections, 
it seems likely that these two specimens came from 



13 



a stone quarry that was connected with the head- 
waters of Jordan Creek during high-water periods. 

Green Sunf ish. -- This fish, as collected in 
Jordan Creek, was too small to interest anglers. 
It was found in slow-flowing pools, especially 
along the shallow edges where grasses and roots 
provided cover. Its abundance was inversely re- 
lated to the stream gradient. 

Bluegill. -- Although the bluegill was collected 
in all divisions of the study section, it was not 
abundant anywhere in Jordan Creek. Usually 
regarded as a pond fish, the bluegill showed a 
preference for long, shallow pools with reduced 
current velocity. Few specimens collected were 
of sizes desired by anglers. Only four were 5 
inciies or more in length. 

Longear Sunfish.— This vyas the most abundant 
sunfish in Jordan Creek. In total weight collected, 
it was surpassed by only the hog sucker and the 
stoneroUer. Its abundance increased sharply from 
the wooded area to the open area and seemed to be 
inversely related to the stream gradient. Sixty- 
seven per cent of the total weight of this fish was 
taken in the open area. 

Orangespotted Sunfish. -- Only one specimen 
(3.8 inches in total length) was collected. It was 
taken in Division 4. 

Rock Bass. "The rock bass was collected in 
only the lower, wooded area. Although not abundant 
in Jordan Creek, it was reputed to be a favorite 
fish with local sportsmen. Only 2 of 30 rock bass 
collected were less than 6 inches long. 



Miscellaneous Families 

Two families were represented in Jordan Creek 
by single species: the pike family by the grass 
pickerel, the killifish family by the starhead top- 
minnow. Neither species was abundant in the 1950 
collections, table 7. 

Grass P ickerel . -- Only 16 specimens of this 
fish were collected, of which 14 were from the 
slow-flowing pools of the open area. Thompson & 
Hunt (1930) found fewer fishes in collections 
containing grass pickerel than in those which did 
not include this pickerel. No scarcity of minnows 
was observed in the Jordan Creek collections that 
contained grass pickerel. 

Starhead Topminnow.--This topminnow showed 
a definite preference for the slow-flowing pools of 
the upper area; only three specimens were taken in 
the wooded area. 



Association of Species 

The association of fishes of Jordan Creek was 
studied in the relationship of families to each other 
and in the relationship of various species to 
ecological characteristics of the stream, as discus- 
sed in preceding paragraphs and summarized in 
tables 8, 9, and 10, It was further studied by com- 
paring the distribution patterns of the most common 
species throughout the eight divisions of the study 
area, figs. 6-24. Species having similar patterns 



Table 7. -Number and weight (in pounds) of grass pickerel and starhead topminnow collected, 1950, 
in each of the eight divisions of Jordan Creek, and the total number and total weight of each species 
collected in all divisions combined. 





Grass Pickerel 


Starhead Topminnow 


Division 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 
2 
3 

4 
5 
6 
7 
8 


1 
1 

5 

4 
4 

1 


0.21 
0.20 

0.23 
0.66 
0.14 
0.04 


1 
1 
6 
5 
8 
23 


+ 
+ 

0.03 
0.02 
0.04 
0.11 


All 
divisions 


16 


1.48 


44 


0.20 



+ Less than 0.01 pound. 



14 



Table 8. — Five most important fish families collected in Jordan Cieek, 1950, and, for each family, 
the percentage of its total number and weight (in pounds) collected in each of the eight divisions; also, 
for each family, the total number and weight of fish collected. 





Suckers 


Minnows 


Catfishes 


Darters 


Sunf] 


shes 




Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Division 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 




of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 




Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


4.07 


7.27 


8.51 


11.90 


18.47 


11.92 


15.20 


15.99 


5.32 


6.98 


2 


6.07 


14.85 


6.41 


12.66 


10.36 


7.12 


9.35 


14.48 


6.33 


16.04 


3 


7.23 


14.07 


8.03 


12.37 


6.31 


10.98 


9.15 


14.30 


5.67 


11.38 


4 


10.27 


19.41 


6.83 


9.25 


9.91 


23.51 


7.61 


9.18 


11.79 


15.46 


5 


18.62 


13.00 


15.84 


16.34 


10.36 


14.85 


13.43 


14.56 


21.84 


16.77 


6 


24.30 


16.82 


20.18 


13.22 


4.05 


2.15 


15.26 


10.19 


18.71 


15.26 


7 


15.64 


10.10 


15.06 


13.00 


15.32 


8.33 


14.12 


10.94 


15.51 


8.51 


8 


13.81 


4.49 


19.13 


11.28 


25.23 


21.14 


15.88 


10.35 


14.82 


9.60 


Total 






















number 


3,984 




31,032 




222 




3,060 




2,875 




Total 






















weight 






















pounds 




158.30 




231.76 




18.12 




11.88 




181.41 



Table 9. " Five most important fish families collected in Jordan Creek, 1950, and the percentage 
each represented of the total number and weight (in pounds) of all fishes in each of the eight divisions 
and in all divisions combined. 





Suckers 


Minnows 


Catfishes 


Darters 


Sunf] 


Lshes 


Division 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Per 


Pet 


Per 




Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 


Cent 




of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 


of 




Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


Number 


Weight 


1 


4.68 


20.54 


76.26 


49.22 


1.18 


3.86 


13.43 


3.40 


4.42 


22.61 


2 


8.88 


27.60 


73.05 


34.45 


0.84 


1.52 


10.50 


2.02 


6.68 


34.18 


3 


8.88 


29.59 


76.99 


38.08 


0.43 


2.64 


8.64 


2.26 


5.03 


27.42 


4 


13.09 


35.91 


67.87 


25.04 


0.74 


4.98 


7.46 


1.27 


10.81 


32.79 


5 


11.02 


22.00 


73.06 


40.47 


0.34 


2.88 


6.11 


1.85 


9.33 


32.52 


6 


11.73 


30.52 


75.88 


35.12 


0.11 


0.45 


5.66 


1.39 


6.52 


31.74 


7 


10.01 


24.78 


75.12 


46.68 


0.55 


2.34 


6.95 


2.01 


7.17 


23.91 


8 


7.35 


12.71 


79.38 


46.80 


0.75 


6.84 


6.50 


2.20 


5.70 


31.17 


All 






















divisions 


9.66 


26.24 


75.26 


38.42 


0.54 


3.00 


7.42 


1.96 


6.97 


30.07 



15 



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of distribution—that is, those increasing or de- 
creasing in abundance in the sarae divisions of 
the stream— V. ere considered associated, either with 
each other or with similar or related ecological 
factors. The association of several species was 
measured statistically. 

The fish collections included a large pro- 
portion of the fish population present in each part 
of the stream censused, and so data on the indi- 
vidual species lend themselves to statistical 
treatment. The usual statistical measures of 
association based on the presence or absence of 
a species were of no significance in the treatment 
of these data, because most of the abundant fishes 
were taken in all 52 collections. Coefficients of 
correlation (r) between figures involving distribu- 
tion of the various species were calculated to give 
indices of association. In species of the darter 
family and in three species of minnows, the indices 
were based on numbers of individuals, in all other 
species on total weights. In order to reduce the 
number of mathematical calculations and make the 
size of the samples as nearly uniform as possible, 
the analyses were based on the total collections 
from each of the eight divisions rather than on 
separate collections. Each of the correlation co- 
efficients is simply a mathematical expression of 
the degree of similarity between the distribution 
patterns of the species being compared; the figures 
do not explain or measure- any other relationship 
between the species. 

Because the smallmouth black bass was the 
fish most sought after by Jordan Creek anglers, 
particular attention was given the fish communities 
with which it was associated. Its distribution was 
compared with that of each of several other abun- 
dant species, table 11. 

Table 11. — Coefficient of correlation (r) for 
the weight distribution of the smallmouth black 
bass and that of nine other species of fishes in 
the eight divisions of Jordan Creek, 1950. 

Species i 



Hog sucker 
Hornyhead chub 
Common shiner 
White sucker 
Stoneroller 
Green sunfish 
Longear sunfish 
Golden redhorse 
Creek chub 



0.85 

0.62 

0.56 

0.35 

0.04 

0.01 

-0.18 

-0.22 

-0.73 



A graph, fig. 5, was prepared to show the 
relative abundance of the smallmouth and the other 
main groups ot fishes in a series of 24 pools ranked 
as good, mediocre, or poor on the basis of the 
weight of bass they contained. A high bass pop- 
ulation seemed to be associated with a high per- 
centage of suckers anda low percentage of minnows. 
The percentages of sunfishes (exclusive of small- 
m.outh bass) and miscellaneous species were fairly 
constant in this series of pools, dropping off only 
slightly where the minnows were dominant. A 
direct relationship between bass and suckers and 
an inverse relationship between bass and minnows 
probably reflected the habitat preferences of 
these fishes. 

The smallmouth, fig. 6, and the hog sucker, 
fig. 7, had a similar weight distribution, being most 
abundant in Division 2 and generally decreasing in 
their abundance upstream. The highest correlation 
of the smallmouth (r =0.85) was with the hog sucker 
and is significant at the 1 per cent level. These 
species have similar distributions in Illinois. The 
high degree of association in Jordan Creek probably 
is best explained by the preference of both 
for hard- bottomed pools. 

The hornyhead chub, fig. 8, had a weight 
distribution pattern in the study section somewhat 
similar to that of the smallmouth black bass, al- 
though the weight of the chub was greatest in 
Division 3 and the weight of the smallmouth was 
greatest in Division 2. The correlation coefficient 
of 0.62 between the weights of these species is 
somewhat high but not significant. 

The abundance of the longear sunfish, fig. 9, 
reached a peak in Division 5 and decreased at 
stations upstream and downstream from Division 5. 
Gerking (1949) suggested that the presence of the 
longear sunfish was antagonistic to the smallmouth 
black bass in three streams that he surveyed. 
Antagonism between these species did not seem to 
prevail in Jordan Creek. There was a negative 
correlation (r =-0.18) between the weight of the 
smallmouth and that of the longear sunfish, but it 
is not significant. However, the negative correla- 
tion (r =-0.73) between the weight of the small- 
mouth black bass and the weight of the creek chub 
is significant. This strong negative correlation 
reflects the upstream increase of the chub and the 
difference in habitat preference between the two 
species. The creek chub, which is a headwater 
form, showed a gradual increase in numbers in the 
upstream stations, but in weight it had an irregular 
distribution pattern, fig. 11. The graph for this 
chub and that for the hornyhead chub indicate these 
fish are of smaller average sizes progressively up- 



17 




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PER CENT 
40 - 



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20 



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FIG. 6— SMALLMOUTH BASS 

TOTAL NUMBER — 369 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 72.33 LB. 



WEIGHT 




NUMBER 



J I L 




I 

PER CENT 

40 - 



30 



20 



10 - 



FIG. 7.— HOG SUCKER 

TOTAL NUMBER — 2,358 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 96.20 LB. 




3 4 5 6 

DIVISION OF STUDY AREA 



I 

PER CENT 

40- 



30 - 



20 



10 



FIG. 9.— LONGEAR SUNFISH 

TOTAL NUMBER— 2,015 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 85.14 LB. 



NUMBER 




PEF 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 6 7 8 


! CENT 










40 


- 




FIG. 


10.- 


-BLUNTNOSE MINNOW 

TOTAL NUMBER— 7,098 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 35.94 LB. 


30 


- 










20 

10 


1 






J 

1 


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// WEIGHT-^ ^%^ 

1 1 1 1 


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 


i CENT 


50 


FIG. 8.— HORNYHEAD CHUB 

TOTAL NUMBER — 2,071 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 43.34 LB. 


40 


- 


30 


- 


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I 
PER CENT 

50- 



40 - 



30 - 



20- 



10 - 



FIG. II.— CREEK CHUB 

TOTAL NUMBER — 2,960 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 17.07 LB. 



NUMBER- 




3 4 5 6 

DIVISION OF STUDY AREA 



Figs. 6-11. -- Distribution (in per cent) of the number and weight of each of six species of fish 
collected in the eight divisions of the Jordan Creek study area, 1950. 



19 



stream. The bluntnose minnow, fig. 10, which 
showed a general increase in numbers up to 
Division 6, dropped off in the last two divisions; 
it had a distribution very similar to that of 
the longear sunfish. 

Figs. 12-17 present an interesting picture of 
the succession of fishes in Jordan Creek. The rock 
bass, fig. 12, the stonecat, fig. 13, and the brindled 
madtom were present in only the fast, rock-bottomed 
pools of the lower area and showed a general de- 
crease in the upstream stations of this area. 

The common shiner, fig. 14, was present in all 
eight divisions but showed a general decrease of 
weight and number in the upstream divisions. Al- 
though we are more interested in the weight than in 
the number of a species, an interesting correlation 
(r =0.78) was found between the number of small- 
mouth black bass and the number of common 
shiners. In Illinois the common shiner has a 
pattern of distribution similar to the patterns of the 
smallmouth and the hog sucker; all are scarce in 
the southern part of the state and increase 
in abundance northward. 

The smallmouth black bass generally is 
found in smaller streams than the largemouth, and 
when these species occur together the smallmouth 
is usually more abundant upstream than the large- 
mouth. In Jordan Creek this situation was reversed; 
the largemouth was taken in only the upper area, 
fig. 15, and the smallmouth more abundantly in the 
lower, fig. 6. As was mentioned previously, Jordan 
Creek is unusual in that the upper area has more 
characteristics typical of larger streams— slower 
currents, larger pools, and softer bottoms-than has 
the lower area. To some extent this situation has 
caused for some of the fish a reversal of the dis- 
tribution typical for a stream of the size of 
Jordan Creek. 

The sand shiner, fig. 16, silverjaw minnow, 
fig. 17, and spotfin shiner were much more abundant 
in the upper area than in the lower. The 
distributions of the numbers of these three species 
were correlated. The silverjaw minnow and the 
sand shiner had a correlation coefficient of 0.96, 
which was the highest correlation calculated. The 
spotfin had a correlation coefficient of 0.75 with 
the silverjaw, 0.67 with the sand shiner. These 
associations probably are explained by the fact 
that these three species have a preference for the 
soft bottoms of sand and silt in the upper area. 

The general pattern of distribution of the 
white sucker, fig. 18, was bimodal, with a low in 
Division 5 and peaks in Division 4 and Division 6. 



The general distribution of the bluegill, tig. 19, 
was somewhat similar to that of the white sucker. 
However, bluegills usually were collected near the 
banks with cover, whereas white suckers were 
collected in the open water of the pools. The green 
sunfish, fig. 20, reached its peak of abundance in 
Division 5, in which the bluegill and the 
white sucker were low in abundance. The white 
sucker had a higher correlation coefficient with 
the smallmouth black bass than did the green 
sunfish. 

In comparing the distribution of the stoneroUer 
with that of the white sucker, figs. 21 and 18, it 
was discovered that in the divisions of the stream 
where the number and weight of the stoneroller were 
high those of the white sucker were low, and vice 
versa. However, these two bottom feeders probably 
do not compete in their habitats, since the stone- 
roller was found in faster and more shallow water 
than the sucker. The yellow bullhead, fig. 22, had 
an irregular distribution in Jordan Creek, with only 
a general increase in abundance in the upstream 
stations. The large adults of this species were 
found at the edges of pools where the water was 
deep and where the banks were covered with grass 
or roots. The young of the golden redhorse, fig. 
23, showed a definite preference for the softer 
bottoms of the upper area. The correlation 
coefficient for the weights of the golden red- 
horse and the smallmouth black bass was 
not significant. 

In relative abundance, the greenside and rain- 
bow darters were replaced upstream by the fantail 
and the orangethroat darter, fig. 24. Trautman 
(1930) noted differences in habitat preferences of 
the rainbow darter and the orangethroat darter. 

In the Jordan Creek study section, the rainbow 
had a correlation coefficient of 0.76 (significant 
at the 5 percent level) with the greenside, of -0.85 
with the fantail, of -0.55 with the orangethroat, a 
species very similar in appearance to the rainbow 
and often confused with it. The greenside had a 
correlation coefficient of -0.81 with the fantail, of 
-0.60 with the orangethroat. The orangethroat had 
a correlation coefficient of 0.88 with the fantail. 

The rainbow and the greenside showed a pref- 
erence for the larger and faster rapids, whereas 
the orangethroat and the fantail showed a pref- 
erence for the smaller and slower rapids. 

The associations and succession of darters 
are due to steep, swift rapids with large boulders 
in the lower area and less turbulent, gravel riffles 
in the upper area. 



■20 



WEIGHT 




FIG. 12— ROCK BASS 



TOTAL NUMBER — 30 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 10.08 LB. 



FIG. 13.— STONECAT 



TOTAL NUMBER — 45 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 1.81 LB. 



FIG. 14.— COMMON SHINER 

TOTAL NUMBER— 826 
T0TALWE16HT— 16.13 LB. 




PERCENT 
50- 



40 



30 



20 



10 



I 



I 

PER CENT 

50- 



40 



30 



20 



10 



J L 



I 2 



I 

PER CENT 

30- 



20 



FIG. 15.— LARGEMOUTH BASS 

TOTAL NUMBER— 41 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 2.24 LB. 




WEIGHT 



FIG. 16.— SAND SHINER 

TOTAL NUMBER — 2,344 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 8.15 LB. 



NUMBER 




WEIGHT- 



FIG. 17.— SILVERJAW MINNOW 

TOTAL NUMBER — 5, 159 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 16.38 LB. 

NUMBER-V 



10 



345678 123456 

DIVISION OF STUDY AREA DIVISION OF STUDY AREA 

Figs. 12-17. -- Distribution (in percent) of the number and weight of each of six species offish 
collected in the eight divisions of the Jordan Creek study area, 1950. 




21 



I 

PER CENT 
40- 



FIG. 18.— WHITE SUCKER 

TOTAL NUMBER— 413 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 38.79 LB. 



WEIGHT 




3 4 5 6 

DIVISION OF STUDY AREA 



I 

PER CENT 

40- 



30 



20 



10 



FIG. 21.— STONEROLLER 

TOTAL NUMBER— 9, 830 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 89.26 LB. 




NN i^NUMBER / 



I 



PER CENT 
40- 



30 - 



FIG. 22.— YELLOW BULLHEAD 

TOTAL NUMBER — 155 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 15.53 LB. 



WEIGHT- 





1 


2 


3 4 5 6 7 


8 


PEF 
50 


iCENT 




FIG. 20.— GREEN SUNFISH 

TOTAL NUMBER— 318 
TOTAL WEIGHT— 9.06 LB. 




40 


- 








30 


- 




A 




20 


- 




NUMBERri/ \ 




10 

n 


1 


1 


^^WEIGHT \ 

1 1 1 1 1 


1 




40- 



30 



20 



10 



TOTAL NUMBER — 1,024 
TOTAL WEIGHT — 17.95 LB. 




3 4 5 6 

DIVISION OF STUDY AREA 



Figs. 18-23. — Distribution (in per cent) of the number and weight of each of six species of fish 
collected in the eight divisions of the Jordan Creek study area, 1950. 



22 



1 00 Kv. .•..•.•.■,•.•.•■.■.•■.•.•■.••.••!;:;•■.■.•;.•;.■::•. :•.'.•.•■.'.'.■.'. 




3 4 5 6 

DIVISION OF STUDY AREA 



Fig. 24. — Distribution (in per cent) of the four most numerous darters in the eight divisions of the 
Jordan Creek study area, 1950. 



iscussion 



Jordan Creek was found to have an abundant 
fish population, not only from the standpoint of 
total number and weight but also from that of 
variety of species. The abundance of fish was 
probably related to the fertility of the lands drained 
by this creek, whereas the number of species re- 
flected the variation in the stream habitat. 

A natural division of the study area into 
a rough, wooded area downstream and a flat to 
rolling, open area upstream facilitated the relating 
of fish distribution to ecological conditions. The 
lower area showed more typical upstream charac- 
teristics than did the upper area with its long, slow- 
flowing pools. This reversal of upstream-down- 
stream conditions tended to emphasize the specific 
factors influencing fish distribution. 



Several species (rock bass, stonecat, brindled 
madtom, and blackside darter) were restricted to 
the lower area, whereas other species (largemouth 
black bass, sand shiner, spotfin shiner, and star- 
head topminnow) occurred abundantly only in the 
upper area. The number and weight of the common 
shiner decreased progressively upstream; the 
number and weight of the silverjaw minnow de- 
creased progressively downstream. The distribu- 
tion of several species (white sucker, stoneroller, 
bluegill, green sunfish, and yellow bullhead) seemed 
to be influenced by specific habitats not restricted 
to either the upper or lower areas. A few species 
were represented by only one or two specimens and 
were considered only temporary residents of 
Jordan Creek. 

Species with similar general distribution 
patterns in the study section may have different 



23 



habitat preferences and be influenced by different 
specific environmental factors. For example, the 
rock bass and the stonecathad very similar general 
patterns of distribution, figs. 12 and 13; but the 
lock bass inhabited deep, shaded pools and the 
stonecat swift, rocky areas, fig. 25. 

It was usually difficult to distinguish the 
factors that actually defined the habitat for each 
species. Stream gradient, amount of shaded water 
surface, dominant bottom materials, and the use of 
surrounding lands appeared to influence the dis- 
tribution of Jordan Creek fishes. But it should be 
kept in mind that the fishes were actually in- 
fluenced by more specific environmental factors. 
The abundance of the bluntnose minnow, for 
example, varied inversely with the stream gradient 
but its distribution may actually have been governed 
by some more definite factor determined by stream 
gradient, such as velocity of flow, size of pools, 
steepness of riffles, kinds of bottom materials, or 
the associated food organisms. 



Summary 

1. The fish population in a continuous section 
of Jordan Creek was censused with an electric 
shocker to form a basis for further investigation of 
the fishes of this small, warm-water stream. 

2. The 4-mile study section was separated in- 
to eight divisions, each approximately one-half 
mile in length. The lower four divisions were in a 
rough, wooded area. Here the stream was composed 
of short, hard-bottomed pools and steep riffles. 
The four divisions above this wooded area were in 
open, sunny, farm and pasture land. Here the 
stream gradient was low, resulting in long, slow- 
flowing pools. 

3. In the eight divisions of the study area, 
the numbers and weights of fish taken were 
tabulated for each species and for each family of 
fishes. Particular attention was given the relation- 
ship between the distribution of the fishes and the 
characteristics of the habitat. 

4. Forty species of fishes comprised the 
population. The minnows made up 75 per cent of 
the total number and 38 per cent of the total weight 
of all fishes. Sunfishes were second and suckers 
were third in total weight. By number the stone- 
loller was the most abundant species and by 
weight it was second to the hog sucker. 

5. The distribution of species appeared to be 
strongly influenced by four primary factors of the 
habitat: stream gradient, shading of water surface. 



dominant bottom materials, and use of sur- 
rounding land. 

6. The smallmouth black bass, the favorite 
fish with Jordan Creek anglers, had a distribution 
by weight similar to that of the hog sucker. There 
was a direct correlation in weight between bass 
and suckers in individual pools and an inverse 
relationship in weight between bass and minnows. 

7. Certain species (rock bass, stonecat) were 
found only in the wooded area, with a high gradient, 
whereas others (largemouth black bass, sand 
shiner) were abundant only in the slow- flowing 
pools of the upper, open area. 



Literature Cited 

American Fisheries Society 

1948. A list of common and scientific names 
of the better known fishes of the United 
States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. 
Spec. Pub. 1. 45 pp. 



i 



Forbes, Stephen Alfred, and Robert Earl Richardson 
1920. The fishes of Illinois. (Second ed.) 
Illinois Natural History Survey, Urbana. 
cxxxvi + 357 pp. 



Funk, John L. 

1949. Wider application of the electrical 

method of collecting fish. Am. Fish. ■ 
Soc. Trans, for 1947, 77:49-60. 

Gerking, Shelby D. 

1945. The distribution of the fishes of 
Indiana. Ind. Dept. Cons, and Ind. 
Univ. Invest. Ind. Lakes and Streams 

3(1):1-137. 

Gerking, Shelby D. 

1949. Characteristics of stream fish popu- 
lations. Ind. Dept. Cons, and Ind. 
Univ. Invest. Ind. Lakes and Streams 
3(7):283-309. 

Hubbs, Carl L., and Karl F. Lagler 

1947. Fish of the Great Lakes region. 

Cranbrook Inst. Sci. Bui. 26. xi + 186 pp. 



Moore, Geo. A., Harold R. Pollock, and Donna Lima 
1950. The visual cells of Ericymba buccata 
(Cope). Joui. Compar. Neurol. 93(2) 
289-95. 



i 



24 




Fig. 25. -- Quiet pool, in foreground, typical of the Jordan Creek pools in which rock bass and small- 
mouths were found in 1950. In swift, rocky areas, like the riffle in the background, stonecats, madtoras, 
and rainbow darters were taken. 



25 



Shettet, David S. 

1947. The electric "shocker" and its use in 
Michigan streams. Mich. Cons. 16(9): 
8-10. 



Trautman, Milton B. 

1930. The specific 



distinctness of Poe- 



Thompson, David H., and Francis D. Hunt 

1930. The fishes of Champaign County, 
Nat. Hist. Surv. Bui. 19(1):5-101. 



111. 



Wascher, 
1938 



cilichthys coeruleus (Storer) and Poe- 
cilichthys spectabilis Agassiz. Copeia 
1930(l):12-3. 

Herman, R.S. Smith, and L.H. Smith 
. Vermilion County soils. 111. Ag. Exp. 
Sta. Soil Rep. 62. 36 pp. 



26 



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