Alternate Title

An Investigation of the Fish Population Within the Inland Waters of Horn Island, Mississippi, A Barrier Island in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Document Type



An investigation to ascertain the species composition and the relative abundance of the fish population within the inland waters of Horn Island, Mississippi, a member of the offshore barrier island chain, was made from August 1965 to September 1966, and 69 species representing 58 genera and 35 families were encountered. In respect to the fishes certain biological and physical factors were noted.

Forty-nine collecting stations were established on the island, and these were categorized according to the nature of their appearance and location. A salinity range from fresh to 29.9 ppt. was recorded for the sampled bodies of water, with the high salinity areas being under the influence of Mississippi Sound waters. Fishes with both marine and brackish water affinities were collected. Euryhaline species were taken from both fresh water and water which was approaching fresh; however, no true fresh water fishes were obtained.

Members of the Atherinidae, Cyprinodontidae, and Poeciliidae (Menidia beryllina, Cyprinodon variegatus, Fundulus similis, Gambusia affinnis, and Poecilia latipinna) contributed most conspicuously to the fish population. Other families which were encountered formed somewhat less conspicuous elements in the population. The killifishes and poeciliids are capable of completing their life histories in the majority of examined areas, and these species contributed most obviously to the permanent occupancy of the inland waters due to their established resident breeding populations.

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