Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Tom Jones, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Autumn Starcher-Patton

Third Advisor

Dr. Rick Gage


Wetlands provide essential ecosystem services. Historically, we have drained and filled 73% of wetlands for agricultural use throughout the United States from the 1780s to the 1980s (Dahl, 1990). A nationwide focus on restoring wetlands has since occurred. Literature on restored/mitigated wetlands is rife with examples that do and do not support the same ecosystem services as natural wetlands (Langston, 1997; Meil, 2014). Restoration of wetlands occurred at the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area (GBWMA) over several decades. Various sections of the wetland were classified by age, water depth, and vegetation. One hypothesis was that differences in fish assemblage would be observed based on the age of wetland assemblage. Fishes were sampled using Hoop nets in five wetland areas using proportional randomized sampling locations. Each location was sampled multiple times from March–May of 2023. We compared sampling efforts to find an efficient method for study replication. We also used Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMS) to see if an overlap in species composition was present between various sites. Differences between fish assemblages were driven by age, water depth, and habitat types. Sites that were similar in age and water depth had similar fish assemblages. Species specific growth rates were calculated to compare the health of different fish assemblages.


Wetland biodiversity.

Ohio River.

West Virginia.

Wetland mitigation.

Fishes -- Habitat.

Fishes -- Health.