Christopher S. Guy
Assistant Unit Leader
I am the Assistant Unit Leader of the U.S. Geological Survey-Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit (MTCFRU) at Montana State University. The Unit is housed in the Department of Ecology-Fish and Wildlife Management Program.
I design and conduct research funded by Federal, State, and private contracts and direct the research of graduate students and other personnel. I also lead research teams and serve as a bridge among resource managers and other researchers assuring appropriateness of research questions and hypotheses. The overall mission of the MTCFRU encompasses fish ecology, physiology, population dynamics, limnology, hydrology, wildlife, endangered species, habitat and landscape ecology, and environmental contaminants.
My research contributes to understanding ecosystem-level issues that are scientifically challenging because of scale, complexity, and spatial and temporal dynamism. Most of my research falls within the broad mission of ecology of fishery and aquatic resources. A major, consistent research theme has been on native fish assemblage restoration, a prominent ecological and societal issue in Rocky Mountain and Great Plains ecosystems. Habitat degradation, introductions of non-natives, and overexploitation have caused widespread decreases in ranges and abundances of native fish species at the same time that anglers and agency administrators are becoming aware of ecological concepts, biodiversity issues, and the importance of maintaining naturally structured and functioning ecosystems. I have a comprehensive native species research program involving life history, movements, habitat use, population ecology and dynamics, exploitation, hybridization, non-native eradication, and disease components. For example, research includes evaluation of post-stocking dispersal of hatchery-reared pallid sturgeon; movements, diet, and habitat use of pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon; spawning locations and early life history of shovelnose sturgeon; effects of spawning location on survival of pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon; impacts of flow modifications on distribution and spawning by pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon; interactions between sauger and sympatric non-native walleye; distribution and population characteristics of non-native lake trout in Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, with implications for suppression; landscape factors affecting the distribution and genetic diversity of bull trout and sympatric non-native lake trout in Glacier National Park; movement of resident and non-resident anglers and implications for transferring aquatic nuisance species; effects of angling on salmonids during high water temperatures; biogeographical and human influences on fish assemblages in prairie streams; and spatiotemporal dynamics of fishes in prairie streams.