Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Sherry L. Harrel

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

David M. Hayes

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

Charles L. Elliott

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences


The movement patterns of small-bodied fishes in headwater streams are poorly understood. This study was designed to examine the movement patterns of the Kentucky Arrow Darter (Etheosotma spilotum), Frecklebelly Darter (Percine stictogaster), and Southern Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster) in two dynamic headwater streams, Elisha Creek and Gilbert's Big Creek, in the Red Bird River, Kentucky, utilizing Passive Integrated Transponders and an antennae detection system. Etheostoma spilotum is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Percina stictogaster is acknowledged as a species of greatest conservation need in Kentucky by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Over the duration of this study, a totlal of 182 fishes were PIT tagged and released in Elisha Creek and Gilbert's Big Creek. A total of 35 detected intra-raceway movements among 24 individuals were recorded from the summer of 2013 to the spring of 2016. Movement distances ranged from 41 m to 4,044 m, with an average detected movement distance of 795 $#177; 147 m. The effects of length, weight, sex, season, temperature, light intensity, and depth on the distance moved were examined utilizing General Linear Models. The results suggested that length and weight were significant factors influencing the movement of E. spilotum, and season was a significant factor influencing the movement of P. stictogaster.