Alternate Title

The Fish Fauna of Lake Maurepas, an Oligohaline Part of the Lake Pontchartrain Estuary


Lake Maurepas is a slightly saline body of water located at the upper end of the Lake Pontchartrain estuary. Of 67 fish species collected during 1983-84, 33 species (49%) are primarily freshwater, 6 (9%) are primarily marine, and 28 (42%) are estuarine or diadromous, commonly occurring in both freshwater and marine habitats. Major freshwater species (e.g. lctalurus furcatus, I. punctatus, and Aplodinotus grunniens) were present throughout the year, whereas most marine and estuarine species were seasonally present (e.g. Anchoa mitchilli, Brevoortia patronus, and Micropogonias undulatus), or were present during periods of higher (up to 2.5 o/oo) salinity (e.g. Cynoscion arenarius, Leiostomus xanthurus, and Pogonias cromis). Literature records indicate that larger percentages of marine species are present during years when salinities are higher (up to 8 o/oo).