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Keywords:

  • habitat;
  • forest;
  • pasture;
  • stream fish;
  • juvenile

Abstract  Young-of-the-year (YOY) smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu Lacepéde, were evaluated in streams from eight catchments with two contrasting land uses to determine their use of microhabitats under a variety of stream conditions. Step-wise discriminant function analyses revealed patterns of habitat use by discriminating used from available microhabitat conditions. Velocity was significant in 88% of streams sampled, whereas depth was significant in only the smallest stream in the forest-dominated catchments and 75% of stream segments located in pasture-dominated catchments. Mean velocities used by YOY bass were lower than available velocities, and mean depths used were greater than mean availability in all cases. Substrata varied significantly with availability in different stream segments. Error rates associated with classification ranged from 5 to 39%. Results indicate that YOY smallmouth bass are somewhat opportunistic, but use low-velocity habitats in most cases and deeper water when streams are impacted by pasture land use and associated physical changes.