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At present, inland fisheries are not often a national or regional governance priority and as a result, inland capture fisheries are undervalued and largely overlooked. As such they are threatened in both developing and developed countries. Indeed, due to lack of reliable data, inland fisheries have never been part of any high profile global fisheries assessment and are notably absent from the Sustainable Development Goals. The general public and policy makers are largely ignorant of the plight of freshwater ecosystems and the fish they support, as well as the ecosystem services generated by inland fisheries. This ignorance is particularly salient given that the current emphasis on the food-water-energy nexus often...
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): We present the first high resolution (1:20,000) river centerlines shapefiles from 50 large rivers across the world. Rivers were selected based on the criteria of having more than 1000 km length and which have been reported to have a significant contribution to global fishery production. Since large rivers often span multiple countries, the degree of changes (i.e., anthropogenic or climate derived) varies from region to region. These high-resolution layers were developed to enable researchers to delineate accurate river length, from headwaters regions to their delta and assess or visualize the ongoing changes more accurately in these river systems. Further, these polylines could be...
Abstract: Macrophyte removal by lakefront property owners occurs on glacial lakes throughout the range of Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides, yet little information exists on how it affects recruitment of these fish populations. We hypothesized that with greater prey availability in macrophytes, age‐0 Largemouth Bass consumption and growth would increase. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an in‐lake experiment with age‐0 Largemouth Bass in twelve 9.29‐m2 littoral mesocosms in glacial Chancellor Lake, Michigan, during summer and fall 2014. We removed macrophytes from mesocosm substrates to produce low‐coverage, high‐coverage, and vegetation edge treatments and determined treatment effects on consumption and...
The United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development defines the formidable challenge of integrating historically separate economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified ‘plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.’ We highlight the substantial contribution inland fisheries can make towards preventing increased poverty and, in some cases, alleviating poverty (i.e. addressing Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 1: No Poverty) as an opportunity to inform the next set of development agendas and their associated budgets and priorities. Overlooking the contribution of inland fisheries to poverty prevention and alleviation may undermine the capacity to successfully meet the development goals,...
Abstract: Population persistence across broad spatial scales (e.g., watersheds) can depend on asynchronous dynamics among populations at finer scales (e.g., streams or habitats). We applied a von Bertalanffy growth model and closed N‐mixture abundance model in a hierarchical Bayesian framework to examine effects of fine‐scale variability in temperature and density dependence on growth and abundance as well as within‐ versus among‐stream variability in growth and abundance of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (RGCT) in northern New Mexico streams. An accumulation of degree‐days positively influenced instantaneous growth rates and, to a lesser extent, negatively affected asymptotic body length....
Changing climate conditions pose challenges for many migratory birds, and their responses to these challenges can depend on their biology. To illustrate these impacts, I developed a board game to help elementary school students understand these challenges. The use of the game provides an opportunity to further discuss changes in phenology, the timing of life cycle events, in response to a changing climate.
Abstract (from AFS): Many Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus populations are dominated by fish ≤125 mm total length (TL) that may be underrepresented when using standard sampling gears. To identify efficient sampling methods for these populations, we compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) and TL frequency distributions of Bluegill captured in cloverleaf traps, boat electrofishing, mini‐fyke nets, and beach seine hauls from two northern Wisconsin lakes supporting populations dominated by fish ≤125 mm TL. Mean Bluegill CPUE ranged from 41 (SE = 11) fish per cloverleaf trap lift to 16 (SE = 8) fish per beach seine haul. Cloverleaf traps generally captured smaller Bluegill relative to other gears and were the only gear to...
Abstract (from AFS): Managing recreational fisheries in lake‐rich landscapes with diverse fish communities and anglers alike presents a social and biological challenge for managers. Understanding angler preferences is central to navigating these challenges and can aid in predicting shifts in angler behavior in response to management actions or changing fish populations. Species‐specific angler surveys do not incorporate tradeoffs inherent in multispecies fisheries, thus limiting their application to real‐world management issues. To better understand angler preferences in relation to realistic tradeoffs among different fishing opportunities, we conducted a survey of Wisconsin anglers in 2013–2014 that included questions...
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): Rarity and life history traits inform multiple dimensions of intrinsic risk to climate and environmental change and can help systematically identify at-risk species. We quantified relative geographic rarity (area of occupancy), climate niche breadth, and life history traits for 114 freshwater fishes, amphibians, and reptiles in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Our approach leveraged presence-only, publicly available data and traits-based inference to evaluate area of occupancy, climate sensitivity (i.e., climate niche breadth), and a Rarity and Climate Sensitivity (RCS) index of all species across multiple geographic extents, grain sizes, and data types. The RCS index was relatively stable...
Abstract (from Scientific Data): Inland fishes provide important ecosystem services to communities worldwide and are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Fish respond to climate change in diverse and nuanced ways, which creates challenges for practitioners of fish conservation, climate change adaptation, and management. Although climate change is known to affect fish globally, a comprehensive online, public database of how climate change has impacted inland fishes worldwide and adaptation or management practices that may address these impacts does not exist. We conducted an extensive, systematic primary literature review to identify peer-reviewed journal publications describing projected and documented...
Though reported capture fisheries are dominated by marine production, inland fish and fisheries make substantial contributions to meeting the challenges faced by individuals, society, and the environment in a changing global landscape. Inland capture fisheries and aquaculture contribute over 40% to the world’s reported finfish production from less than 0.01% of the total volume of water on earth. These fisheries provide food for billions and livelihoods for millions of people worldwide. Herein, using supporting evidence from the literature, we review 10 reasons why inland fish and fisheries are important to the individual (food security, economic security, empowerment), to society (cultural services, recreational...
Abstract (from Canadian Science Publishing): We used redd count data from 88 bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) populations in the upper Columbia River basin to quantify local and regional patterns in population dynamics, including adult abundance, long-term trend, and population synchrony. We further used this information to assess conservation risk of metapopulations using eight population dynamic metrics associated with persistence. Local population abundances were generally low (<20 redds annually) and the majority of trends were either stable (85%) or declining (13%). Evidence of synchrony among populations was apparent but not related to fluvial distance between streams. Variability in annual abundances was...
Abstract (from Nature Sustainability): Inland fish provide food for billions and livelihoods for millions of people worldwide and are integral to effective freshwater ecosystem function, yet the recognition of these services is notably absent in development discussions and policies, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How might the SDGs be enhanced if inland fishery services were integrated into policies and development schemes? Here, we examine the relationships between inland fish, sustainable fisheries, and functioning freshwater systems and the targets of the SDGs. Our goal is to highlight synergies across the SDGs, particularly No Poverty (SDG 1), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Clean Water...
Historically, drought has been viewed in terms of its agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic impacts. How drought affects ecosystems - and the services they provide human communities - is often not discussed. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) initiated a national-scale effort that’s addressing this gap in drought research. A new concept – ecological drought – was defined as part of this effort. This geo-narrative explains the concept of ecological drought, and highlights the research and products that were initiated as part of this effort.
Abstract (from Ecological Society of America): Species that are primarily seral may form stable (self‐sustaining) communities under certain disturbance regimes or environmental conditions, yet such populations may also be particularly vulnerable to ecological change. Aspen (Populus spp.) are generally considered seral throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including P. tremuloides, the most widely distributed tree species in North America. Recent declines in aspen populations have occurred, especially along drought‐sensitive margins of its range and where fire exclusion and herbivory have promoted community transition. However, aspen also forms stable stands, and examination of the mechanisms that influence persistence...
Abstract (from Canadian Science Publishing): Managing fisheries through rapid environmental change requires diverse approaches for identifying and adapting to novel ecological conditions. For the Wisconsin Ceded Territory, we calculated 473 adult walleye (Sander vitreus) production (P), biomass (B), and P/B estimates for 1990–2012. Frequency distributions for production statistics were right-skewed, indicating the fishery is generally dominated by low production populations. Mean P, B, and P/B were significantly elevated in natural recruitment (NR) lakes compared with combination (NR + stocking) and stocked-only lakes. Furthermore, combination populations had significantly higher production compared with stocked-only...