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Wednesday, January 27 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Current Conservation Status of Stream Fish Habitat In The Midwest And Northeastern United States

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AUTHORS: Wesley M. Daniel*, Michigan State University; Nick Sievert, University of Missouri; Dana M. Infante, Michigan State University; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey; Jana Stewart, U.S. Geological Survey; Jodi Whittier, University of Missouri; Tyler Wagner, U.G. Geological Survey; Kyle Herreman, Michigan State University; Yin-Phan Tsang, University of Hawaii

ABSTRACT: Human impacts occurring throughout the 22 states of the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) region including urbanization, agriculture, point source pollution and dams, have multiple effects on the region’s streams which support economically and high conservation value stream fishes. To characterize current condition of stream fish habitats, we developed three indices using landscape disturbances and tailored to stream fish species identified by partners in the region. The indices reflect fish responses to human land uses in stream catchments, water quality impairment, and fragmentation of streams by large dams and road crossings, and they provide information about variation in habitat condition across the region. These indices also serve as a benchmark for evaluating the influence of changing climate on fish habitat. For this presentation, we show the three independent indices of current condition highlighting limiting disturbances to habitats, variation across the region, and species responsiveness to specific disturbances. For example, we found that 7.6% of streams in the region are highly impaired by water quality, 9.3% are highly impaired by fragmentation from dams and road crossings, and 35.6% of stream reaches are highly impaired by human land use (which varies between urbanization and agriculture). Only 1.8% of stream reaches in the region are highly impaired by all three indices, suggesting highly variable influences on habitat condition and specific insights into restoration opportunities. Further, 5.5% of the regions’ streams are in the best available condition for all three indices, potentially suggestive of opportunities for protection.. Results of the this study will be integrated into a spatially-explicit decision support mapper “FISHTAIL” that will offer natural resource managers, decision-makers, and the public a wealth of information to better protect and conserve stream fishes and their habitats now and into the future in the NE CSC region.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 11:20am - 11:40am EST