Population Demographics of Hiodon tergisus (Mooneye) in the Lower Tallapoosa River
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We describe age structure, growth, and fecundity of Hiodon tergisus (Mooneye) from the lower Tallapoosa River, AL. Mooneye (N = 49, 214–316 mm total length, 79–284 g) were aged using otoliths, and a von Bertalanffy growth model was derived for the species (L∞ = 316, K = 0.285, to = −0.7). Growth rates of Mooneye differed between the Tallapoosa River population and a previously studied population from the northern extent of the species' range (Assiniboine River, MB, Canada). In addition, fecundity of Mooneye from the Tallapoosa River was similar to the northern population, ranging from 5321 to 7432 eggs per female. Because the species is declining throughout its range in Alabama, we recommend that managers use our findings in conservation efforts. Future studies should investigate how hydrology influences the spawning success and early growth and development of Mooneye in regulated systems. More information about this species is needed regarding their early life history, including early growth, survival, and habitat use.