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The Plains Minnow (Hybognathus placitus) is well adapted to prairie watersheds. It is found in open, shallow river channels of highly turbid rivers and creeks with sandy bottoms, high levels of dissolved solids, and slight to moderate erratic flows, typical of these watersheds. One of many issues affecting the Plains Minnow is that the construction of dams has significantly altered flow regimes in its range. Eliminating flood events has removed the historical cues for spawning and reduced spawning habitat.
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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): Impervious surface cover Population density Road length density Low intensity urban land use Downstream dam density Top three most pervasive disturbances to creeks (<100 km 2 watersheds) across all spatial scales : Impervious surface Road length density Low intensity urban land use Top three most pervasive disturbances to rivers (>100 km 2 watersheds) across all spatial scales : Pasture and hay land use Impervious surface Population density Top five...
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The Shortnose Sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), the smallest of the three sturgeon species that occur in the eastern United States, requires clean rock or rubble above the head of tide for spawning. It has suffered from the construction of dams in the region. This species migrates upriver from lower reaches of river systems or from upper estuary areas to spawn, but has been blocked from reaching spawning areas by dams. Other spawning habitat has been impaired by water flow changes from water withdrawals and dam operations, particularly peaking power operations. Sturgeon species, in general, are very sensitive to changes from the natural water flow conditions.
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Creating cumulative habitat condition scores To create the cumulative habitat condition index (CHCI) for streams of the conterminous United States, associations between multiple fish metrics and multiple human landscape factors were synthesized into a single number using the following scoring process. 5a. For each significant association between a fish metric and a human landscape factor, we evaluated the shape of the relationship to identify two key points. The “ threshold point” is the level of a landscape factor associated with a decrease in abundance of a particular fish metric (change in condition class between 5 and 4 in Figure 4), and the “plateau point” is the level of a landscape factor beyond which increasing...
Tags: 2015, CONUS, Method
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Both Green (Acipenser medirostris) and White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) are long-lived species with delayed and intermittent spawning that require large amounts of connected habitat to complete their life cycle. Both species use inshore marine and estuarine habitat along with rivers for juvenile and adult habitat and require clean substrates in rivers to successfully spawn. Hydropower dams are barriers to movements of these species in Pacific rivers and have negatively affected spawning success by creating unstable daily water flow patterns through peaking power operations as has been documented in other sturgeon species. For example, the fragmentation of the Columbia River by dams has created 17 land-locked...
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The Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) has declined across its entire range due largely to loss of breeding habitat and overharvest, with much of it as illegal harvesting for caviar. Although conservation efforts have stabilized this species in the Central Mississippi States, a continued decline is expected due to overharvest, introduced species (particularly Asian Carp), and pollution. Other threats include channelization and dam construction that have blocked seasonal migration to suitable spawning sites which isolates individual populations and lead to breeding issues. Some characteristics of its life history, such as length of time to reach sexual maturity, make it susceptible to decline and slow to recover.
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The Pahrump Poolfish (Empetrichthys latos) is an endangered endemic springfish and is the only remaining species in its genus, Empetrichthys. Originally occurring only in a large spring in southern Nevada, its entire historic habitat was lost in the 1960s due to excessive groundwater pumping, which desiccated the spring system. This species now exists in several refuge habitats in southern and central Nevada, as efforts to restore its original habitat have thus far been unsuccessful.
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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): Impervious surface cover Population density Low intensity urban land use Road length density Downstream dam density Top three most pervasive disturbances to creeks (watersheds <100 km 2 in area) across all spatial scales: Impervious surface cover Low intensity urban land use Population density Top three most pervasive disturbances to rivers (watersheds >100 km 2 in area) across all spatial scales: Upstream dam density Pasture and hay land use Population...
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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): Crop land use Population density Pasture and hay land use Road crossing density Low intensity land use Top three most pervasive disturbances to creeks (watersheds <100 km 2 in area) across all spatial scales: Crop land use Population density Low intensity urban land use Top three most pervasive disturbances to rivers (watersheds >100 km 2 in area) across all spatial scales : Pasture and hay land use Population density Crop land use Top five most pervasive...
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The Woundfin (Plagopterus argentissimus) once ranged from southwest Utah to southern Arizona in the Colorado and Gila River basins, but now only occur in 12 percent of its historical range, and is classified as critically endangered. It prefers quiet water adjacent to riffles of swift, warm, turbid small to medium rivers, but spawns in swifter flowing water over gravel. Populations have been affected by habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation caused by dams and water diversions. Woundfin populations have also shown declines in areas where the non-native Red Shiner has proliferated due to changes in water flow patterns caused by dams and diversions. The Red Shiner is both a predator of and a competitor with...
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Map of the risk of current fish habitat degradation of inland streams of the Upper Midwest States.
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Assembling Data We used datasets of habitat stressors available at a national scale and measured within estuaries and their associated watersheds. Included datasets represent anthropogenic stressors likely to affect fish habitat within estuaries based on evidence from the published habitat ecology literature. Although many important factors were included, not all data were available at sufficient spatial resolution or geographic breadth for meaningful analysis. Some important datasets that were investigated but determined to be insufficient for inclusion in the current version of the National Estuary Assessment included: historic habitat extent/habitat loss; storm/wastewater discharges; sediment contaminants; biogenic...
Creating cumulative habitat condition scores Greater Alaska All six sub-indices of disturbance scores in each HUC-12 were summed together to yield a cumulative habitat condition index (CHCI) score for each HUC-12. The maximum value for the CHCI was 6, indicating that a HUC-12 was in the worst condition class for each sub-index of disturbance, while the minimum value of the CHCI was 0, indicating that a HUC-12 was in the best condition class for each sub-index of disturbance. We followed methods applied for the conterminous US and created condition classes using Jenk’s natural breaks. With the exception of the HUC-12s that received a CHCI score of <0.001, which were given a priory assignment of “very low” risk of...
Tags: 2015, Alaska, Method
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Map of the risk of current fish habitat degradation of inland streams of the Pacific Coast States.
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The Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus ssp. desotoi) as the name implies lives in the estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico but migrates up coastal rivers to spawn (anadromous). It is found in rivers from spring until fall and in the Gulf during the winter. It feeds heavily while in the Gulf, but adults eat very little (or not at all) while in the rivers. The species declined dramatically after the late 1800s. It fell victim to overharvest for its meat and roe, dam construction, and dredging activities. The largest population is currently in the Suwannee River in Florida.
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Assembling data Many different human landscape factors were assembled and used to characterize condition of Alaska stream fish habitat (Table 3). Factors include: urban and agricultural land uses; density of point sources of pollution in catchments; measures of stream network fragmentation, including densities of dams and culverts; density of infrastructure (road length, pipelines, etc.) and locations of mines. The availability of some landscape factors varied between southeast Alaska and greater Alaska (see Table 3). Some important threats to fish and fish habitats could not be incorporated into the assessment due to data availability limitations (one example includes forest harvest information across the entire...
Tags: 2015, Alaska, Method
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The Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) is a Federally listed endangered species found in shallow waters of rare desert springs, small streams, and marshes. The typical habitat includes clear water with aquatic plants or algae. These are difficult habitats for fish as they have high salinity water, high water temperatures, and low oxygen concentrations. Decline of the Desert Pupfish has been associated with dam construction, water diversions, groundwater pumping, pesticide drift, and encroachment of non-native vegetation such as Tamarix, also known as Salt Cedar. Salt Cedar can alter riparian habitats and the subsequent shading and roots can alter aquatic habitats.
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The northeast is one of the most urbanized areas in the country, with a high percentage of impervious surfaces in some of its watersheds. These impervious surfaces alter the water flow (hydrology) of streams and increase sedimentation, nutrient loading, and pollution in rivers, lakes, and bays. Urbanization also results in the direct loss of fish habitat as wetlands are filled, streams diverted, and channels dredged. The effects of urbanization are apparent in the greater New York City area, Boston, Westchester-Springfield, Providence, and Buffalo-Rochester. However, increasing suburban sprawl also has a significant negative affect on aquatic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, developed land increased by almost three...
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Map of the risk of current fish habitat degradation of inland streams of Alaska (HUC-12).
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Northern Plains States Fish Habitat Partnerships’ 2010 - 2015 Actions to Make a Difference Partnerships - Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership, and Fishers and Farmers Partnership Provided funding for restoration of 2,825 feet of shoreline habitat, 932 feet of wetlands, and 2.5 acres of cove habitat in Custer County, Nebraska. Partners installed 25 rock piles, 26 tree reefs, and 26 shoals. Removed 58,810 cubic yards of bottom sediments from Arnold Lake, Nebraska. For more about specific waters and projects the Northern Plains States Fish Habitat Partnerships are working on, please see the following locations: New Life for Aging...


map background search result map search result map Habitat Trouble for Green and White Sturgeon in Pacific Coast States Upper Midwest States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Upper Midwest States Pacific Coast States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Alaska - Risk of Current Alteration Map (HUC-12) Habitat Trouble for Shortnose Sturgeon in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Paddlefish in Central Mississippi River States Habitat Trouble for Plains Minnow in Mountain States Description of Urban Land Use as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Pahrump Poolfish in Southwestern States Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Southeast Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Desert Pupfish in Southwestern States ​Habitat Trouble for Gulf Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Habitat Trouble for Woundfin in Southwestern States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Northern Plains States Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Southeast Atlantic States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Northern Plains States Habitat Trouble for Shortnose Sturgeon in Northeastern States Description of Urban Land Use as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Paddlefish in Central Mississippi River States Upper Midwest States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Upper Midwest States ​Habitat Trouble for Gulf Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Habitat Trouble for Green and White Sturgeon in Pacific Coast States Pacific Coast States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Habitat Trouble for Pahrump Poolfish in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Desert Pupfish in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Woundfin in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Plains Minnow in Mountain States Alaska - Risk of Current Alteration Map (HUC-12)