Kevin R. Bestgen, Ph.D.
Director and Research
Larval Fish Laboratory
Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
B.A. Biology, 1981, St. Cloud State University, MN
M.S. Fishery and Wildlife Biology, 1985, Colorado State Univ.
Ph.D. Fishery and Wildlife Biology, 1997, Colorado State Univ.
1997-Present. Director and Research Scientist, Larval Fish Laboratory, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University.
1989-1997. Research Associate, Larval Fish Laboratory, and, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University. Assistant Director,
Larval Fish Laboratory, May 1995-June 1997.
1986-1989. Research Associate/Associate Curator of Fishes, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico.
1982-1985. Biologist. Contractor with U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Fish and Game Department, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Division
of Wildlife, Fort Collins, and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
I emphasize research topics that are at the interface of aquatic ecology and management. My main areas of interest include fish ecology, ichthyology, and
conservation biology. I am also proficient in experimental design and data analysis. A main theme of my work is understanding spatial and temporal changes
in the distribution and abundance of stream fishes in response to disruption of natural discharge and temperature patterns and to establishment of
non-indigenous species. I employ both laboratory and field approaches in this research and attempt to integrate results with conceptual or mechanistic
ecological models. This approach often yields the strongest inference about large-scale ecological problems especially when most field data are derived from
observational studies or unreplicated experiments. I also participate in six different monitoring studies that are designed to assess long-term trends in status of
aquatic biota. The main goal of my research is to obtain reliable scientific information and produce defensible results that have a lasting influence on ecology
and management of natural resources. Examples of recent publications, reports, and talks at professional meetings are listed below.
My teaching contributions to the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology have consisted of guest lectures in Ichthyology FW 300, Fishery Science FW
401, Stream Fish Ecology and Management FW 540, and presentations in seminars. I have also taught the FW 301, the laboratory portion of Ichthyology, to 47
students. Students also obtain knowledge through work experience gained at the LFL. I routinely involve three to six undergraduate students per year in a field
project that monitors Front Range stream fish assemblages and hire another two to six students per year for summer field work or laboratory research projects.
An additional two to twelve work study students are hired to support Larval Fish Laboratory research and service activities each year. In spring 1999, myself,
Dr. Timothy Patton, and Mr. Thomas P. Nesler co-taught a Native Fish Workshop, as a continuing education contribution to members of the
Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Most of the 53 participants were employed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the
Wyoming Game and Fish Department, or federal natural resource agencies. Distribution, status, and monitoring of fishes in Colorado and Wyoming were the
main topics. I have also participated in other LFL short courses that emphasized larval fish taxonomy and sampling.
My service activities include advising entities such as the cities of Boulder, Fort Collins, and Loveland, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, the Colorado
State University Heritage Program, the Colorado State University Environmental Learning Center, the Nature Conservancy, the Forest Service, the U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Most of this activity focused on recovery of stream
fishes and ecosystems that have been degraded by man's activities. I also peer review 10 or more journal submissions and technical reports generated by the
Upper Colorado River Basin Recovery Program for Endangered Fishes. I include LFL administration as service because much of this activity is
uncompensated. As Director, I am a supporting principal investigator for research projects funded through the LFL and am responsible for budgets, staff hiring
and evaluation, and coordination and completion of projects. In 2002, we have 15 active research projects in the LFL and 16 full or part-time employees. I am
also the LFL liaison between the primary LFL funding agencies and CSU.
American Fisheries Society
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Desert Fishes Council
North American Benthological Society
Society of Conservation Biology
Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Certified SCUBA Diver (PADI)
Recent Publications, Presentations, and Reports
- Bestgen, K. R., and D. L. Propst. 1996. Redescription, geographic variation, and taxonomic status of the Rio Grande silvery minnow, Hybognathus amarus
(Girard 1856). Copeia 1996:41-55.
- Bestgen, K. R. 1996. Growth, survival, and starvation resistance of Colorado squawfish larvae. Environmental Biology of Fishes 46:197-209.
- Bestgen, K. R. and B. Kondratieff. 1996. Fishes, macroinvertebrates, and habitat of South Boulder Creek, Colorado, within City of Boulder Open Space
property. Unpublished report to the City of Boulder, Open Space Department. 99 pp.
- Fishes as Indicators of Ecosystem Health in the Colorado River Basin. Presented at the Flaming Gorge Work Group public meeting, Vernal, Utah, March
1996. K. R. Bestgen and R. T. Muth (Invited).
- Linkages Between Hydrology and Riverine Fish Ecology. Keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Colorado State University Hydrology Days, 16 April 1996,
K. R. Bestgen (Invited).
- Bestgen, K. R., D. W. Beyers, G. B. Haines, and J. A. Rice. 1997. Recruitment models for Colorado squawfish: Tools for evaluating the relative
importance of natural and managed processes. Unpublished report to the National Biological Survey and National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. 55
- Fausch, K. D., and K. R. Bestgen. 1997. Ecology of stream fishes indigenous to the central and southern Great Plains. In Ecology of vertebrates of the
Great Plains. Springer-Verlag Inc.
- Fishes, macroinvertebrates, and habitat of South Boulder Creek. Invited presentation at the City of Boulder, Mountain Parks and Open Space Research
Symposium, Boulder, Colorado, March 1997, K. R. Bestgen (Invited).
- Fish assemblage response to human population growth in the South Platte River Basin. South Platte River Basin annual meeting, Longmont, Colorado.
October 29-30, 1997. K. R. Bestgen (Invited).
- Bestgen, K. R., R. T. Muth, and M. A. Trammell. 1998. Downstream transport of Colorado squawfish larvae in the Green River drainage: temporal and
spatial variation in abundance and relationships with juvenile recruitment. Unpublished report to the Recovery Implementation Program for Endangered
Fishes in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Contribution No. 97 of the Larval fish Laboratory. 98 pp.
- Importance of red shiner predation on survival of Colorado squawfish larvae: an experimental and individual-based modeling analysis. Desert Fishes
Council, November 1998. Bestgen, K. R, three others.
- Bestgen, K. R., and J. Bundy. 1998. Environmental factors affect daily increment deposition and otolith growth in young Colorado squawfish.
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 127:105-117.
- Bestgen, K. R., K. A. Zelasko, and J. M. Bundy. 1999. Entrainment of Fishes from the South Platte River into Fulton Ditch, 1998. Prepared for Metro
Wastewater Reclamation District, Denver, Colorado. Larval Fish Laboratory Contribution Number 108. 40 pp.
- Bestgen, K. R., and J. M. Bundy. 1999. Evaluation of the Interagency Standardized Monitoring Program Sampling Technique in Backwaters of the
Colorado River in the Grand Valley, Colorado. Report prepared for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Grand Junction, CO.
- Bestgen, K. R., and L. Crist. 2000. Response of the Green River fish community and habitat to construction and re-regulation of Flaming Gorge Dam, 1962-1996.
Unpublished report to the Recovery Implementation Program for Endangered Fishes in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Larval Fish Laboratory Contribution 107.
- Muth, R. T., L. W. Crist, K. E. LaGory, J. W. Hayse, K. R. Bestgen, T. P. Ryan, J. K. Lyons, and R. A. Valdez. 2000. Flow and temperature recommendations for
endangered fishes in the Green River downstream of Flaming Gorge Dam. Final Report FG-53 to the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program.
- Bestgen, K. R., J. M. Bundy, K. A. Zelasko, and T. L. Wahl. 2001. Exclusion and survival rates of early life stages of fathead minnows released over coanda-effect
wedge wire screens. Unpublished report to Metro Wastewater Reclamation District. Larval Fish Laboratory Contribution 116.
- Bundy, J. M., and K. R. Bestgen. 2001. Evaluation of the Interagency Standardized Monitoring Program Sampling Technique in Backwaters of the Colorado River in
the Grand Valley, Colorado. Unpublished report to the Recovery Implementation Program for Endangered Fishes in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Larval Fish
Laboratory Contribution 119.
- Beyers, D. W., C. Sodergren, K. R. Bestgen. 2001. Habitat use and movement of three native Colorado River fishes. Report submitted to Colorado
Division of Wildlife, Grand Junction, CO.
- Bundy, J. and K. R. Bestgen. 2001. Confirmation of daily increment deposition in otoliths of young razorback suckers. Southwestern Naturalist 46:34-40.
- Beyers, D. W., and K. R. Bestgen. 2002. Bull trout performance over a horizontal flat-plate screen. Larval Fish Laboratory Contribution 128, U. S. Bureau
of Reclamation, Denver, CO.
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Last Modified 10/22/99