Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resource Management

First Advisor

Brian D.S. Graeb


Hipple Lake, Lake Sharpe, microchemistry, natal origin, otolith, recruitment


Catastrophic flooding of the Missouri River in 2011 has had lasting effects on floodplain habitats (i.e. floodplain lakes) and side-channel habitats (e.g. canals, side-channel embayments, stilling basins, and tributaries) in Lake Sharpe, SD. Floodplain and side-channel habitats are rare habitat in Lake Sharpe, a mainstem Missouri River reservoir, and are thought to be crucial habitat for prey and sport fish. Hipple Lake, the only warm-water floodplain embayment in Lake Sharpe, is in danger of losing connectivity to the reservoir because of sedimentation resulting from the 2011 flood. To evaluate Hipple Lake’s natal and adult contribution to Lake Sharpe’s fishery, otolith microchemistry was used to quantify fish movement and natal origins. This data will be used to inform management decisions regarding restoring Hipple Lake’s connectivity to the main channel. Water trace element chemistry (e.g., Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca) among a cold-water side-channel embayment, warm-water floodplain embayment, canal complex, tributary, and the main channel of Lake Sharpe were spatially variable. Significant positive linear relationships existed between otolith trace element concentrations and water trace element concentrations for many species, but not for all species. Natal Sr:Ca and Ba:Ca ratios of adults varied spatially, which allowed for identification of natal origins of fish hatched in a warm-water floodplain embayment, a cold-water side-channel embayment, a tributary, a stilling basin, a canal complex, or the main channel. K-nearest neighbor discriminant analysis reclassified age-0 fish with sufficient accuracy for habitat-type scale classification (>75% accuracy). Canals were important only for Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), whereas a tributary was important only for White Bass (Morone chrysops). A warm-water floodplain embayment, Hipple Lake, was important for natal recruitment of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Crappies (Pomoxis spp.), Largemouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and Gizzard Shad. A cold-water side-channel embayment, La Framboise, was important for White Bass, Sauger (Sander canadensis), and Walleye (Sander vitreus) natal recruitment and adult use, as well as adult use for Bluegill, Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens), and Largemouth Bass. A stilling basin was important for Yellow Perch and Gizzard Shad. The main channel was equal or more important than side-channel and floodplain habitats for Bluegill, Crappie, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass and Sauger natal recruitment, and more important than side-channel and floodplain habitats for Crappie, Yellow Perch and Smallmouth Bass adult movement. Gizzard Shad collected at all sites moved frequently throughout the entire reservoir. At least 6% of adult Gizzard Shad in Lake Sharpe (~25,000 ha) originated in Hipple Lake (178 ha), and at least 17% of adult Gizzard Shad in Hipple Lake originated in Hipple Lake. Considering that Hipple Lake makes up only 0.77% of Lake Sharpe’s surface area, 6-17% of Lake Sharpe’s natal recruitment occurring in the floodplain lake is substantial. Nearly two-thirds (65.57%) of all Gizzard Shad recruitment in Lake Sharpe occurred in side-channel and floodplain habitats. This research shows the disproportional importance of warm-water floodplain embayments, canals, stilling basins and tributaries to Gizzard Shad recruitment in large reservoirs. Sport fish were found to utilize different habitats, with the floodplain and side-channel contribution to natal recruitment and adult movement varying from negligible to significant, dependent on species. Natal recruitment and movement patterns varied to a small extent on an annual scale for some species, and movements have changed to a small extent for some species since the 2011 flood.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Floodplain ecology -- Missouri River

Aquatic habitats -- Missouri River

Fish populations -- South Dakota -- Sharpe, Lake

Fish populations -- South Dakota -- Hipple Lake

Sedimentation and deposition -- South Dakota -- Hipple Lake



Recruitment (Population biology)


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2016 William Joseph Radigan