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Freshwater Fish and Habitats

The streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed provide critical habitat for freshwater fish such as brook trout and migratory species such as river herring, American shad, and American eel. These species have declined owing to degrading stream conditions and barriers preventing migration. The USGS supports restoration efforts though the multiple efforts listed below.

Filter Total Items: 17

Agricultural best management practices can improve water quality and conditions for fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Issue Partners in the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) are implementing best management practices (BMPs) to prevent nutrient and sediment from entering waterways across the Chesapeake watershed and reduce loads to the Bay. In addition to reducing nutrients, CBP partners want to better understand how BMPs can provide additional benefits for addressing toxic contaminants, such as pesticides, hormones...
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Agricultural best management practices can improve water quality and conditions for fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Issue Partners in the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) are implementing best management practices (BMPs) to prevent nutrient and sediment from entering waterways across the Chesapeake watershed and reduce loads to the Bay. In addition to reducing nutrients, CBP partners want to better understand how BMPs can provide additional benefits for addressing toxic contaminants, such as pesticides, hormones...
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A Science-Based Approach for Targeting Resources to Achieve Multiple Chesapeake Outcomes

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) needs to accelerate progress on multiple outcomes to meet deadlines in the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. The CBP partnership spends about $1.2B annually on activities toward achieving the Watershed Agreement, with a focus on water-quality improvement. Recent funding increases, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provide additional opportunities to...
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A Science-Based Approach for Targeting Resources to Achieve Multiple Chesapeake Outcomes

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) needs to accelerate progress on multiple outcomes to meet deadlines in the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. The CBP partnership spends about $1.2B annually on activities toward achieving the Watershed Agreement, with a focus on water-quality improvement. Recent funding increases, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provide additional opportunities to...
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Study of stream fishes provides new framework to monitor climate change in the Chesapeake Bay headwaters

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) have identified four goals for actions toward change climate: • address the threats of climate change in all aspects of the partnership’s work; • prioritize communities, working lands, and most vulnerable habitats; • apply the best scientific, modeling, monitoring and planning capabilities; and • connect restoration outcomes with emerging opportunities. A...
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Study of stream fishes provides new framework to monitor climate change in the Chesapeake Bay headwaters

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) have identified four goals for actions toward change climate: • address the threats of climate change in all aspects of the partnership’s work; • prioritize communities, working lands, and most vulnerable habitats; • apply the best scientific, modeling, monitoring and planning capabilities; and • connect restoration outcomes with emerging opportunities. A...
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Assessing the habitat conditions to support freshwater fisheries in the Chesapeake Watershed

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program partners are striving to improve habitat conditions for recreational fisheries and other native fishes in the Bay and its watershed. While national fish habitat assessments have been conducted, resource managers need more local information to focus restoration and protection efforts in Chesapeake Bay watershed. Conducting the fish-habitat assessments are...
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Assessing the habitat conditions to support freshwater fisheries in the Chesapeake Watershed

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program partners are striving to improve habitat conditions for recreational fisheries and other native fishes in the Bay and its watershed. While national fish habitat assessments have been conducted, resource managers need more local information to focus restoration and protection efforts in Chesapeake Bay watershed. Conducting the fish-habitat assessments are...
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Tracking Status and Trends in Seven Key Indicators of River and Stream Condition in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Identifying and tracking the status of, and trends in, stream health within the Chesapeake Bay watershed is essential to understanding the past, present, and future trajectory of the watershed’s resources and ecological condition. A team of USGS ecosystem scientists is meeting this need with an initiative to track the status of, and trends in, key indicators of the health of non-tidal freshwater...
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Tracking Status and Trends in Seven Key Indicators of River and Stream Condition in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Identifying and tracking the status of, and trends in, stream health within the Chesapeake Bay watershed is essential to understanding the past, present, and future trajectory of the watershed’s resources and ecological condition. A team of USGS ecosystem scientists is meeting this need with an initiative to track the status of, and trends in, key indicators of the health of non-tidal freshwater...
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Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Varied by Species and Location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Summary of Existing Data and a Roadmap for Integrated Monitoring

Fish mercury data from State monitoring programs and research studies within the Chesapeake Bay were compiled and summarized to provide a comprehensive overview of the variation in fish mercury concentrations among species and habitats within the watershed. These data are put into context with existing health benchmarks for humans, birds, and fish. Scientists also provide a roadmap for an...
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Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Varied by Species and Location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Summary of Existing Data and a Roadmap for Integrated Monitoring

Fish mercury data from State monitoring programs and research studies within the Chesapeake Bay were compiled and summarized to provide a comprehensive overview of the variation in fish mercury concentrations among species and habitats within the watershed. These data are put into context with existing health benchmarks for humans, birds, and fish. Scientists also provide a roadmap for an...
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Altered flow affects the biological health of streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Issue: The natural cycle of water flow, known as the flow regime, is one of the primary habitat conditions needed for healthy biological communities in streams. However, human activities have drastically altered the natural flow regime of most of the world’s rivers and streams, including those in the Chesapeake watershed, which has resulted in changes not only to the natural habitat but also...
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Altered flow affects the biological health of streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Issue: The natural cycle of water flow, known as the flow regime, is one of the primary habitat conditions needed for healthy biological communities in streams. However, human activities have drastically altered the natural flow regime of most of the world’s rivers and streams, including those in the Chesapeake watershed, which has resulted in changes not only to the natural habitat but also...
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New Review of Sediment Science Informs Choices of Management Actions in the Chesapeake

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is pursuing restoration efforts to improve habitats and associated water quality for fisheries, both in the watershed and estuary. Excess sediment decreases light in tidal waters for submerged aquatic vegetation, harms oysters, carries contaminants, and impairs stream health throughout the watershed. The CBP is implementing management actions and policies...
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New Review of Sediment Science Informs Choices of Management Actions in the Chesapeake

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is pursuing restoration efforts to improve habitats and associated water quality for fisheries, both in the watershed and estuary. Excess sediment decreases light in tidal waters for submerged aquatic vegetation, harms oysters, carries contaminants, and impairs stream health throughout the watershed. The CBP is implementing management actions and policies...
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Effects of introduced species on native brook trout: a guide to the scientific literature

Issue: Native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are of great ecological, cultural, and economic importance in eastern North America, and their restoration is a focus of the Chesapeake Bay Program. Introduced, non-native species can jeopardize native brook trout, and more information on these effects are needed.
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Effects of introduced species on native brook trout: a guide to the scientific literature

Issue: Native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are of great ecological, cultural, and economic importance in eastern North America, and their restoration is a focus of the Chesapeake Bay Program. Introduced, non-native species can jeopardize native brook trout, and more information on these effects are needed.
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Changing Freshwater Flows Affect Fish Populations in the Potomac River

Issue: Millions of people rely on the Potomac River for drinking water and recreational opportunities. The Potomac is Maryland’s most popular freshwater fishing destination, and the second largest river that enters the Chesapeake Bay. Restoring fisheries is also an important goal for the Chesapeake Bay Partnership restoration efforts.
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Changing Freshwater Flows Affect Fish Populations in the Potomac River

Issue: Millions of people rely on the Potomac River for drinking water and recreational opportunities. The Potomac is Maryland’s most popular freshwater fishing destination, and the second largest river that enters the Chesapeake Bay. Restoring fisheries is also an important goal for the Chesapeake Bay Partnership restoration efforts.
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Information to Help Design Better Fishways and Overcome Fish Migration Barriers

By Vivian Nolan
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USGS Chesapeake Bay Topic Leaders

USGS Chesapeake Bay studies are carried out by integrated teams of scientists located across the watershed. The leaders of these teams are listed below. Click on a scientist's name to be taken to their staff profile.
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USGS Chesapeake Bay Topic Leaders

USGS Chesapeake Bay studies are carried out by integrated teams of scientists located across the watershed. The leaders of these teams are listed below. Click on a scientist's name to be taken to their staff profile.
Learn More