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Map of the risk of current fish habitat degradation of inland streams of the Mid-Atlantic States region.
Partnership - Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Aaron Run, in western Maryland, was once a home to Brook Trout and many other aquatic animals, but aquatic life has been seriously reduced ever since historic coal mining activities polluted the stream. A portion of the watershed sits over abandoned deep coal mines and there are several hundred acres of reclaimed surface mines in the watershed. Additionally, coal waste piles were dumped along the stream banks. Like many waters in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, acid mine drainage has severely impaired water quality of the creek causing very low pH levels, which in turn precipitated iron into the streambed, causing the creek bed to turn reddish-yellow...
This item provides the ScienceBase query that identifies components of the fish habitat assessments within the Mid-Atlantic States. It also contains a link to a configuration file that pulls these pieces of information into a logical order. This information can be accessed through the ScienceBase API to display a summary of fish habitat assessment information for the Mid-Atlantic States.
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Runoff and other land-based pollution from large riverside cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilmington, and Washington, DC, New York City, and surrounding suburban sprawl adversely affect fish habitats in the Delaware, Susquehanna, Ohio, Hudson,and Potomac River basins, as well as many smaller streams. A concentration of human population and impervious surfaces extends from northeastern New Jersey to southeastern Virginia and to the coastal areas of the Mid-Atlantic. For example, the 2015 assessment determined high degradation risk in streams along the I-95, I-81, and I-79 corridors. Urban development continues to spread, as rural land in the states of this region declined by 5.9 million acres from 1982...
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The Chesapeake Logperch is native to Maryland and Pennsylvania; populations in Virginia have been extirpated. It requires rocky habitat in larger rivers and is listed as imperiled. This species has suffered from water quality and habitat degradation in the larger rivers in Mid-Atlantic States with mining, agriculture, and wastewater discharges, which causes elevated metal concentrations, suspended solids, nutrient loading, pH, and high oxygen demand in river waters.
Partnership - Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership Atlantic Sturgeon ( Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) spend a majority of their lives in the ocean but depend on freshwater tributaries for spawning and estuaries for rearing. Overfishing and habitat loss has resulted in the disappearance of this fish from a majority of its original range by the early 1900s. A remnant population of Atlantic Sturgeon continued to use the James River in Virginia, but in 2012, the Chesapeake Bay population segment of Atlantic sturgeon was listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act by NOAA Fisheries. A lack of clean, hard substrate was determined to be one of the limiting factors in the James River for Atlantic...
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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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Relative condition of fish habitat in streams of the Mid-Atlantic States. Histogram shows percentage of total stream length in each condition class.
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The Blackbanded Sunfish ( Enneacanthus chaetodon) inhabits acidic swamps, backwaters, and ponds. Although once a widespread species, it is disappearing from much of its former range. Forest clearing, loss of beavers, liming of farm fields, and stream channelization have reduced the amount of habitat available for this rare species.
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Historically, American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) spawned in virtually every river and tributary along the Atlantic coast and was relied on by Native Americans and early Europeans as a food source. Early declines in abundance of American Shad have been attributed to dam construction, overfishing and degradation of riverine habitats. Water pollution contributed to the decline and resulted in the almost complete disappearance of shad in many watersheds along the Atlantic Coast. The American Shad used to spawn as much as 300 miles upstream in some of the larger tributary watersheds such as the Susquehanna River; however many dams now block fish passage to their historic spawning grounds. Between 1998 and 2007, only...
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Approximately 90 percent of the drinking water for the Washington, D.C. area comes from the Potomac River. An average of approximately 486 million gallons (1.8 million cubic meters) of water is withdrawn from the Potomac River daily in the Washington area for water supply. This is equivalent to a mid-size river with a flow of 750 cubic feet per second. At 464 miles (747 kilometers) long, the Susquehanna River is the longest river on the American east coast that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. When its watershed area is included, it is the 16th largest river in the United States and the longest river in the continental United States without commercial boat traffic today. The Susquehanna River: is almost a mile (1.6...
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Coal is mined throughout southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, and western Pennsylvania; mining activities account for elevated risks of aquatic habitat degradation throughout this zone. Drainage from coal mines and coal refuse piles is a common problem in the Appalachian coal region. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported in 2014 that streams surveyed in the western portion of the state, such as the Monongahela River, were considered impaired due to sulfates from mining. Coal mine drainage also releases acidic water into streams, making them thousands of times more acidic than unaffected streams and eliminating a majority of native aquatic species in the process. The practice of “mountaintop...
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Partnerships - Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, and Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership Partners installed 269 woody and rock structural habitats in two reservoirs in Pennsylvania. Assisted with the removal 17 fish passageway barriers that allowed access to over 47 miles of streams used for spawning by freshwater and diadromous fish species. Improved over nine miles of streams and six acres of wetlands that benefitted Eastern Brook Trout and other species. Restored 0.25 miles of in-stream habitat in Walnut Creek, a tributary of Lake Erie, to promote formation of gravel beds for steelhead...
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The majority of streams, particularly in the headwater reaches, in the Mid-Atlantic States have a low risk of current habitat degradation using the factors assessed, with most of these streams located in heavily-wooded West Virginia, Delmarva Peninsula, southern New Jersey, rural portions of central and eastern Virginia, and central Pennsylvania. Overall, 55 percent of the rivers and streams in the mid-Atlantic fall into the low and very low categories of risk of habitat degradation from the factors assessed. However, an examination of water flow patterns (hydrology) was not included, thus some of the areas scored as low risk may in fact be at higher risk. The most common disturbances in this region are associated...
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There are over 9,000 dams in the Mid-Atlantic States. The great majority of these dams are small (i.e., less than 15 feet high), old, and obsolete mill dams that are in disrepair. Dams, as well as many poorly designed culverts and road crossings, fragment habitat and stop fish migrations for a range of species. Fish species, such as American Shad, river herring, Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon, Rainbow Smelt, American Eel, Striped Bass, and many other fish species must migrate for spawning or require unobstructed access throughout watersheds to complete their life-cycles. Most fish that require migrations in this region have populations that are only a fraction of what they were historically. During 2010 to 2014,...


    map background search result map search result map Habitat Trouble for American Shad in Mid-Atlantic States Mid-Atlantic States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Description of Mining as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Mid-Atlantic States Mid-Atlantic - Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Habitat Trouble for Blackbanded Sunfish in Mid-Atlantic States Summary of Scientific Findings for Mid-Atlantic States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Mid-Atlantic States Description of Urban Land Use and Pollution as Human Activities Affecting Fish Habitat in Mid-Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Chesapeake Logperch in Mid-Atlantic States Facts About Mid-Atlantic States Description of Dams and other Barriers as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Mid-Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for American Shad in Mid-Atlantic States Mid-Atlantic States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Description of Mining as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Mid-Atlantic States Mid-Atlantic - Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Habitat Trouble for Blackbanded Sunfish in Mid-Atlantic States Summary of Scientific Findings for Mid-Atlantic States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Mid-Atlantic States Description of Urban Land Use and Pollution as Human Activities Affecting Fish Habitat in Mid-Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Chesapeake Logperch in Mid-Atlantic States Facts About Mid-Atlantic States Description of Dams and other Barriers as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Mid-Atlantic States