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Ecosystems - Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources Program

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About the Program

Research Goals

The Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources Program (FAER) focuses on the study of fishes, fisheries, fish diseases and parasites, aquatic organisms and their water based and water-dependent habitats. Endangered species and those that are imperiled receive special research interest. The program's research on the diversity, natural history, health, and habitat requirements of fish and other aquatic organisms is carried out to support the management, conservation, and restoration of our Nation's aquatic resources. Specifically, the program focuses on several research areas:

  1. Diversity, Life History and Species Interactions of Aquatic Organisms:
    1. Develop population viability analyses, limiting factor determinations, and models for population and community viability, resilience, and recovery;
    2. Evaluate community dynamics and food webs in aquatic systems;
    3. Develop and integrate new genetic, molecular, and biological tools into systematic analysis.

  2. Aquatic Organism Health:
    1. Characterize the normal physiological, biochemical, and homeostatic capacities of aquatic organisms in their environment to define the baseline capacity of aquatic organisms in natural habitats;
    2. Identify environmental stressors that affect aquatic organism health and performance;
    3. Identify organisms and factors that contribute to the occurrence of infectious diseases of aquatic organisms;
    4. Develop novel techniques, tools, and strategies to improve and promote the health and survival of aquatic organisms for conservation, restoration, and public fisheries.

  3. Aquatic Species and Habitat Interactions:
    1. Determine how physical and ecological processes build and sustain aquatic habitats, and habitat influences life history and productivity;
    2. Investigate and model energy dynamics, trophic dynamics, and food webs in lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters;
    3. Measure the response of aquatic species and aquatic systems to natural and human induced changes;
    4. Evaluate and predict natural and human impacts on aquatic communities.

  4. Aquatic Species at Risk:
    1. Identify and quantify the factors that limit populations of aquatic species at risk;
    2. Develop scientifically defensible methods for at risk and rare species to determine population status and response to management actions;
    3. Evaluate the effectiveness of management efforts to recover imperiled aquatic organisms and habitats.

  5. Restoration Science for Aquatic Species and Aquatic Habitats:
    1. Provide the scientific reference measurements and tools to determine biological goals for the restoration of fishes, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and other aquatic species, aquatic habitats, and the ecological functions of aquatic systems;
    2. Develop restoration and reestablishment techniques;
    3. Quantify the ecological and economic effects of natural and human disturbance on aquatic species and aquatic habitats.

  6. Research Support and Technical Assistance to Aquatic Resource Managers:
    1. Provide timely, responsive, cost effective, and scientifically credible products and information in response to critical issue-driven, site-specific management problems involving targeted, short-term research;
    2. Provide sustained scientific support using the multi-disciplinary expertise and experience of USGS;
    3. Anticipate research and development needs to address emerging issues by soliciting the relevant and long-term research needs of clients.

FAER goals and objectives provide well defined program approaches, from which strategies are developed annually, based on the needs identified by partners and customers. The timeline for completion of these identified needs (systematic analyses, assessments, data releases and information transfer) for individual strategies is determined by the scope and complexity of the activities, and may involve annual, two-to-three year, or longer-termed life history-based or ecological milestones.


Fisheries and Aquatics Bulletin

The Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources (FAER) Program issues a quarterly bulletin "Fisheries and Aquatics Bulletin," designed to facilitate information exchange between the program headquarters, regional centers, science centers, and partners, but it might be of interest to a broader audiences. The bulletin offers its readers to

  • read about featured scientific research from one of the USGS science centers,
  • stay aware of the new developments in the implementation of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan,
  • get a heads-up on the upcoming meetings and see notes from the recent ones,
  • find out about additional funding opportunities,
  • learn about new publications authored by program scientists,
  • make a note of additional Internet resources of interest,
  • see what science centers hit the news.

Download the most recent version of the bulletin or view the archival issues with Adobe Acrobat Reader.Cover page of the bulletin

Current Issue: Fisheries and Aquatics Bulletin Volume 8, Issue 1 . Download the File. (311.86 KB, PDF)

Archive of the Fisheries and Aquatics Bulletin

Volume 8 (2008):
Issue 2
Issue 1


Volume 7 (2007):
Issue 3

Volume 6 (2007):
Issue 2
Issue 1

Volume 5 (2006):
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 4 (2005):
Issue 1
Volume 3 (2004):
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1

Volume 2 (2003):
Issue 5/6
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1

Volume 1
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
issue 1


Other Program Documents

Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources Program. Download the Fact Sheet (212.70 KB, PDF)

Abstract: Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources (FAER) Program supports science-based natural resource management and decision making by researching ecological interactions among fish and other aquatic organisms with their unique aquatic habitats.

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