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The Northeastern States contain over 17,000 dams with most built before 1910 for agricultural and industrial water power uses. A few have been built more recently for flood control, recreation, water supply, and energy generation. In many cases, the dams have outlived their expected life expectancy and use, but continue to block the passage of migratory fish species, such as American Shad, river herring, American Eel, Rainbow Smelt, and Atlantic Salmon, to and from their historic upstream spawning grounds. Additionally, the fragmentation of stream systems by dams have reduced Brook Trout populations in some locations. Progress is being made on this impairment as over 67 dams were removed during 2010 to 2014 in...
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Relative condition of fish habitat in streams of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States. Histogram shows percentage of total stream length in each condition class.
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Southern Plains States Fish Habitat Partnerships’ 2010 - 2015 Actions to Make a Difference Partnerships - Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, Great Plains Fish Habitat Partnership, Desert Fishes Habitat Partnership, and Western Native Trout Initiative Funded a project to stabilized 3,050 feet of shoreline on Olpe City Lake, Kansas. Assisted partners in installation of a fish barrier on Lovewell Reservoir, Kansas to prevent fish loss during irrigation releases. Evaluation is ongoing but preliminary results show a large increase in the forage base. Provided funding for 400 plastic fish attractors that were installed in six Texas reservoirs: Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend,...
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A. Pervasive disturbances: The most common disturbances based on total stream length in a given region. Top five overall most pervasive disturbances to all stream reaches, regardless of stream size and across all spatial scales (ranked highest first): Total excessive (anthropogenic or man caused) sediment yield Impervious surface cover Road crossing density Population density Pasture and hay land use Top three most pervasive disturbances to creeks (<100 km 2 watersheds) across all spatial scales : Total excessive sediment yield Impervious (hard) surface cover Road crossing density Top three most pervasive disturbances to rivers (>100 km 2 watersheds) across all spatial scales: Upstream dam density...
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State-wide data on fish populations were limited in Alaska for use in this assessment, as was a detailed spatial (mapping) framework that fully characterizes watersheds throughout the state at the time this assessment was conducted. Because of these factors, we modified our assessment methods to account for these limitations. Twenty-one landscape disturbance variables were assembled from medium-sized watersheds throughout the state (i.e., 12-digit hydrologic unit code watersheds). Variables were then assigned to one of six categories based on their disturbances to stream habitats. Categories include: urban land use, agricultural land use, point source pollution and water quality, barriers to fish movement, human...
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The habitats of the Southeast Atlantic states range from the mountains and uplands in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont areas in the western portion of this region to the Southeastern and Coastal Plains. Fish habitats in the higher elevation regions are typically fast-moving, clear, coldwater streams originating from seeps and springs, while warmwater rivers of the plains carry more organic material and sediment. This diversity of habitats along a very long period of stable geologic activity produces one of the most diverse assemblages of aquatic species in the nation. The Altamaha, Chattahoochee, Flint, Savannah, Catawba, Pee Dee, Broad, and Neuse are major rivers of the region. There are a large number of dams on waterways...
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Partnerships - Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, and Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership Removed four barriers that opened access to six mile of streams and restored 21 miles of streams to improve habitat for Eastern Brook Trout and other fish species. A shoreline restoration demonstration area was constructed near the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitors Center in North Carolina. Native vegetation was used to stabilize 175’ of shoreline to be used as a showcase for other lakeshore property owners. Planted 0.2 acres of tidal marsh and installed 0.1 acres of oyster reefs in Stump Sound, North Carolina. Also planted 0.15 acres...
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Available data for the American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) indicate that, overall, there have been declines in recruitment, population, and escapement during three generations (36 years). A recent report indicated that barriers to migration (dams and weirs), passage through turbines at hydropower dams, habitat degradation or loss, and overharvest were likely the greatest threats by humans across the species’ range. Although eels are able to ascend many smaller barriers, recent studies have documented a tenfold reduction in eel density above each potentially passable barrier. For example, the number of juvenile eels migrating to Lake Ontario passing over hydropower dams fell from 935,000 in 1985 to approximately 8,000...
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The Ironcolor Shiner (Notropis chalybaeus) is found in deep pool areas of creeks and small rivers and is often associated with aquatic vegetation. This species needs clear sandy areas for spawning. Populations of Ironcolor Shiner are in decline due to increased turbidity, siltation, and pollution.
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The Waccamaw Silverside (Menidia extensa) has a very limited distribution confined to Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina, a lake with neutral pH levels from underlying limestone formations in an area of acidic natural waters. This species is found in large schools and often over dark-colored substrates. Its limited habitat is threatened by nutrient loading caused by the runoff of organic matter and agricultural chemicals.
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In the mostly arid Southwestern United States, water availability (hydrology – a key fish habitat process), wildfires, and grazing intensity are important disturbances that are known to have major, negative effects on fish habitats. While this assessment indicated that many of the streams in this region are in good condition, a number of key habitat variables (i.e. water availability, wildlife frequency and intensity, and grazing intensity) could not be directly included in this assessment because national datasets of these disturbances and their measured variable are unavailable. Their absence from this assessment, along with absences of other disturbances, has likely produced an overestimation of habitat condition...
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Lands within the watersheds of the Great Plains streams that are not used for crops are often used for cattle grazing and hay production. Northern Plains States are one of the nation’s top producers of cattle, which outnumber people almost three to one in North Dakota. Cattle can have direct habitat impacts by trampling stream banks, which destroys beneficial vegetation and increases sedimentation and nutrient loads. Hofmann and Ries (1991) found that livestock increased sediment runoff in North Dakota streams. Schepers and Francis (1982) reported that runoff from a Nebraska cattle farm increased total phosphorus levels in runoff by 37%. In addition, cattle watering ponds, often constructed by diverting streams,...
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The Crystal Darter (Crystallaria asprella) requires large, clear-water streams with clean sand and gravel bottoms and moderate to swift currents. It is intolerant of siltation and other forms of pollution from various land use practices. Direct habitat degradation from damming, channelization, and dredging has also reduced habitat for this species. Remaining populations have become isolated from one another by dams and impoundments. The Mississippi River most likely no longer serves as a usable corridor for the Crystal Darter because of the silt load. The isolated local populations are then vulnerable to single destructive events such as toxic chemical spills.
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Map of the risk of current fish habitat degradation of inland streams of the Mid-Atlantic States region.
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The Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) is a subspecies of Cutthroat Trout that requires high quality coldwater fish habitat along with connected river segments. It has been in decline because of habitat degradation from logging, road building, overgrazing, mining, urban development, agriculture and dams, and competition and hybridization from introduced non-native trout species. Intensive habitat restoration efforts are underway to improve populations of this important species. In addition, restrictive harvest regulation strategies have been passed as this species is very vulnerable to angling.
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Partnerships - California Fish Passage Forum, Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership, Western Native Trout Initiative, and Desert Fish Habitat Partnership Partnerships supported the removal of 59 barriers that reconnected 114 miles of native trout habitat and 14.5 miles of coastal streams to be used by threatened and endangered anadromous species. Funded estuarine restoration of 500 acres in Washington and 519 acres in Oregon. Sponsored the installation of one barrier to protect native trout from introduced species. Partnerships funded 24 population assessments of inland stream native trout species and three assessments of fish assemblages in habitats of Coos estuary, Oregon. Assessments provide...
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The Checkered Madtom (Noturus flavater) is found in moderate to high gradient, clear, small to medium rivers with strong flow and uses deeper, quiet pools or backwaters of these streams. This type of habitat has been eliminated from part of its former range in the White River, Arkansas, due to dam construction.
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There are three designated megaregions in the Pacific Coast States: Southern California, with a population of 22.4 million; Northern California, with a population of 14.6 million; and Cascadia (from Vancouver, British Columbia to Eugene, Oregon), with a population of 8.4 million. These areas have enormous effects on both the inland and coastal aquatic habitats. Continual development increases areas of impervious surfaces (completely altering natural water flows and hydrology) and the amount of sewage discharge, sediments, and other pollutants associated with urbanization. Ever increasing urban water needs can be far reaching and affect systems and fish habitat far away from the urban areas. Los Angeles, which is...
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The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) is native to the Lahontan basin of northern Nevada, northeastern California, and southeastern Oregon. Like other native trout species, the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout is found in a wide variety of cold-water habitats including large terminal alkaline lakes, alpine lakes, slow meandering rivers, montane rivers, and small headwater tributary streams. They currently occupy only about 10 percent of their historic range primarily due to habitat fragmentation from dams and water diversions, changes in water flow patterns, loss of riparian and aquatic habitat quality, severe drought conditions, and the introduction of non-native trout species. One population in Walker...
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The Sonoran Desert is the only place in the world where Saguaro cacti grow. It can take up to 100 years for a Saguaro cactus to grow an arm in areas of low precipitation. The Sonoran Desert receives more rainfall than any other desert, which is approximately 10 inches (25 centimeters) a year on average. In the 1800s, many people used the Gila River as a trail across Arizona. This trail became known as the Gila Trail. Arizona is large enough to fit all of New England plus the State of Pennsylvania inside of it. Arizona is the only State besides Hawai'i that does not observe Daylight Savings time. Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the highest capital city in the United States at almost 7,200 feet (2,286 meters) above sea level....


map background search result map search result map Mid-Atlantic States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Summary of Scientific Findings for Southwestern States Description of dams and other barriers as a human activity affecting fish habitat in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Ironcolor Shiner in Upper Midwest States Description of Urban Land Use as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Pacific Coast States Habitat Trouble for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Pacific Coast States Generalized Methodology for Stream Assessments of Alaska and Hawaii Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Summary of Scientific Findings for Southeast Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for American Eel in Northeastern States Description of Pasture as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Northern Plains States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southeast Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Waccamaw Silverside in Southeast Atlantic States Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southern Plains States Facts About Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Checkered Madtom in Central Mississippi River States Mid-Atlantic States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Summary of Scientific Findings for Southeast Atlantic States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southeast Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Waccamaw Silverside in Southeast Atlantic States Description of Pasture as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Northern Plains States Description of dams and other barriers as a human activity affecting fish habitat in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for American Eel in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States Habitat Trouble for Checkered Madtom in Central Mississippi River States Habitat Trouble for Ironcolor Shiner in Upper Midwest States Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Description of Urban Land Use as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Pacific Coast States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Pacific Coast States Summary of Scientific Findings for Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in Southwestern States Facts About Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Mountain States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southern Plains States Generalized Methodology for Stream Assessments of Alaska and Hawaii