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Abstract

The anadromous Alabama shad, Alosa alabamae, has drastically declined in abundance in recent decades throughout its historic range and has previously been reported in Arkansas from only five localities. Three of those locality records are pre- 1900. Sampling by seine in the Ouachita River drainage system of southern Arkansas in July and August of 1997 and 1998 produced more than 300 juvenile A. alabamae from two localities on the Little Missouri River and four localities on the Ouachita River. One record of an adult Alabama shad, taken on 4 April1997 by an angler below Remmel Dam on the Ouachita River, was also documented. Adults apparently ascended the Ouachita River and spawned successfully in 1997 and 1998 despite the construction of four locks and dams on that river in Louisiana and Arkansas in the 1980s. The Ouachita River drainage and a few streams in east-central Missouri are currently the only known spawning areas for A. alabamae in noncoastal regions of the entire Mississippi River basin. Continued survival of the Alabama shad in Arkansas depends on protecting critical spawning and nursery habitats in the Ouachita River system from deleterious alteration and on preserving that migratory species' access to those habitats.

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