Freshwater Inflow Requirements of a Texas Estuary

by Geoffrey A. Matthews, Natl Marine Fisheries Service, Galveston, TX, USA,
Allan J. Mueller, Natl Marine Fisheries Service, Galveston, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The objective of this study is to estimate the amount and scheduling of freshwater inflows required to maintain fishery productivity, especially shrimp, in Matagorda Bay, Texas. To estimate the levels of river flows required, we principally used correlation and regression analyses of commercial shrimp catches versus gaged river flows. To maintain the 709,792 kg annual shrimp harvest, we recommend an annual gaged inflow of 1,048,050,000 m**3 from the Lavaca-Navidad River and 2,197,206,000 m**3 from the Colorado River, which total 102% of the mean annual flows, 1960-82. For the months of January, February, May, July, August, November, and December, which showed no significant (p less than 0. 10) correlations between their flows and shrimp harvests, we recommend the monthly mean flows from each river. Significant correlations were found between March, April, June, September, and October river flows and shrimp harvests; recommended flows were above their monthly means for all but April.

Subject Headings: River flow | Streamflow | Correlation | Fresh water | Inflow | Estuaries | Regression analysis | Fish management | Texas | United States | Colorado River

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