Sixty-six Arkansas reservoirs were sampled with rotenone from 1997 through 2004 to determine the distribution and species richness of small, nongame fish species in manmade lentic environments. Eighty-five small fish species distributed among 13 families were collected. Fish distribution and species richness varied by reservoir size, ecoregion, and reservoir type. Species richness was significantly correlated with reservoir size and the number of small species occurring in reservoir drainages. Some small species apparently maintained breeding populations in reservoirs, other species occurred in low numbers and may not have maintained breeding populations, and some species occurred sporadically, probably as stragglers from nearby tributary streams. This study should provide information for comparing and interpreting future successional changes in reservoir fish communities as the reservoirs age.

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