"Flood of the Century" in Piney Creek, Arkansas,--Twice!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 9:20 AM
Izard (Statehouse Convention Center)
William Matthews , Biology, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Edie Marsh-Matthews , Biology, The University of Oklahoma, Norman
Ginny B. Adams , Department of Biology, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR
S. Reid Adams , Biology, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR
In December 1982, Piney Creek, Izard County, Arkansas, had a “flood of the century”, that devastated riparian and instream habitat.  However, the fish community in August before (1982) and after (1983) the flood was very similar, with most of 12 sites showing recovery.  In March 2008, Piney Creek again experienced an erosive flood comparable to that of 1982, and an equally deep “back flood” from the White River in April 2008.   In May 2008 we documented flood heights from debris lines and interviews of residents, confirming that floodwaters in 2008 were as much as 12 meters above normal, and that the entire watershed suffered severe erosion and disturbance.   We sampled fish at localities throughout the watershed in summer 2006, providing a “before” survey, and we re-sampled six of those sites in summers 2008, 2010, and 2012.  We now review the effect of this second catastrophic flood on the fish community of Piney Creek, and compare the effects of this springtime flood to that of the winter flood in 1982.  The fish community seemed resilient to both these extreme floods and was generally unchanged, although the tempo of recovery differed between the two events.