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Ryan Newman

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Charles R. Berry


The effects of past mine waste discharges and subsequent stream restoration on stream biota in Whitewood Creek, South Dakota were assessed using rapid bioassessment techniques for benthic macroinvertebrates and reproductive competency of longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae). Fish and anuran species richness were also determined. Whitewood Creek biota were compared to three adjacent streams: Bear Butte Creek, Spearfish Creek, and Crow Creek. Macroinvertebrate communities were similar between two stream reaches in each stream and between years (P > 0.05). However, differences were found among Whitewood Creek and the three reference stream reaches on a seasonal basis. In late August, macroinvertebrate community metric scores from Whitewood Creek were 38 whereas those from the reference streams averaged 36. In May, scores from Whitewood Creek were 16, whereas those from the reference streams averaged 36. Three or four anuran species were found, depending on stream. A total of 22, 5, 7, and 8 fish species, respectively, were encountered at Bear Butte, Whitewood, Spearfish, and Crow Creeks. Longnose dace reproductive characteristics were documented in Bear Butte Creek and Whitewood Creek. No differences in longnose dace relative gonad weight, relative condition factor, egg size, and fecundity were found between the two streams. Longnose dace began to spawn when water temperatures reached 18- 19°C in Bear Butte Creek and 16-17 °C in Whitewood Creek. Relative gonad weight increased by date and ranged from 3.5% to 18.7% in Bear Butte Creek, and from 5.3% to 17.1% in Whitewood Creek. Longnose dace fecundity was positively correlated with length and weight in each stream. Dace fecundity ranged from 500 to 5,985 in Bear Butte Creek and from 870 to 9,953 in Whitewood Creek. Condition factor ranged from 74 to 117 in Bear Butte Creek and from 79 to 111 in Whitewood Creek. Egg size increased by date in fish from each stream, with the exception of stage-I oocytes, which remained between 0. 14mm and 0.25mm. This research adds to the sparse information available on the reproductive biology of this species. I speculate that spring flooding of mine tailings increase contaminant levels that may be a short term stress on the invertebrate community, but the contamination and change in the invertebrate community does not ultimately affect reproduction and recruitment of longnose dace. Longnose dace are a tolerant species, so studying a more tolerant species may yield different results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Longnose dace -- Spawning -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Longnose dace -- Effect of water quality on -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Water quality biological assessment -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)


Includes bibliographical references (page 58-63)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1999 Ryan Newman. All rights reserved.