Eastern Ecological Science Center

Fish and Aquatic Species Conservation

Filter Total Items: 50
Date published: June 23, 2021
Status: Active

Alosine Genetic Stock Identification and Tissue Repository

American Shad (Alosa sapidissima), Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis), and Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus; collectively “alosines”) once supported large fisheries along the U.S. Atlantic Coast. However, impassable migration barriers, declines in habitat quality, and exploitation have led to declines in many spawning populations. Substantial resources have been...

Date published: May 7, 2020
Status: Active

Enabling AI for citizen science in fish biology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing ecology and conservation by enabling species recognition from photos and videos. Our project evaluates the capacity to expand AI for individual fish recognition for population assessment. The success of this effort would facilitate fisheries analysis at an unprecedented scale by engaging anglers and citizen scientists in imagery collection. This...

Date published: April 3, 2020
Status: Active

Terrestrial wildlife and legacy oil mining on National Wildlife Refuges

Amphibian surveys are being conducted on select National Wildlife Refuges with active and/or legacy oil mining to determine species relative distribution and their risk to short- and long-term effects from exposure to crude oil and its byproducts.

Date published: April 3, 2020
Status: Active

Produced water from Marcellus Shale and amphibians

Research biologists at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) are conducting a series of scientific studies on the potential effects of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing activities on terrestrial wildlife. Findings will help in assessing proposals for managing recycling and distribution of large volumes of flowback and produced waters generated by methods of oil and gas...

Date published: April 2, 2020
Status: Active

Assessing Faunal Recovery in a Headwater Stream

A catastrophic fish-kill in a small tributary stream of the Etowah River system (Dawson County, Georgia) has created the opportunity to assess faunal recovery, including recolonization by a federally-listed fish species (the Cherokee darter Etheostoma scotti).  Fishes are expected to recolonize Flat Creek by moving upstream from downstream sources.  In particular, Flat Creek flows...

Date published: July 24, 2019
Status: Active

Passage Technologies for American Eels

The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) migrates into freshwater in the juvenile (glass eel and elver) stage, feeds and grows in freshwater habitats, and migrates downstream to the ocean to spawn as an adult. Migrating eels frequently encounter barriers in river environments, primarily in the form of dams, that limit access of juveniles to upstream growth habitat, and can injure or kill...

Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing native fish restoration potential in Catoctin Mountain Park

Native species conservation is a fundamental purpose of National Parks. Catoctin Mountain Park (CATO) in Maryland supports a prized trout fishery and a healthy community of native fishes, with one exception: native Blue Ridge Sculpin (Cottus caeruleomentum) appear to have been extirpated from Big Hunting Creek above Cunningham Falls. Infection by a fungal-like protist ...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing stream health and fish habitat in streams of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Streams and rivers provide habitat for a diverse array of aquatic and semi-aquatic species. However, human alteration to landscapes and riverscapes has affected this habitat resulting in its degradation and thus loss of habitat and associated sensitive aquatic species.  While this relationship has been known for many years, only recently has the availability of data and analytical capabilities...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Exploring the potential effects of shale oil and gas development on freshwaters

Widespread shale oil and gas (unconventional oil and gas, UOG) has only recently begun and many gaps in our knowledge of its potential effects to freshwaters exist. We conducted several studies aimed at filling these gaps, providing data on the rates and volumes of materials spilled, proximity of spills to important ecosystems, and overall production of wastes. These data together with current...

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Brook trout vulnerability to drought: eastern component of USGS national integrated ecohydrological research and monitoring plans

There is a growing and urgent need to develop and implement innovative strategies to research, monitor, and manage freshwater resources as societal demands escalate simultaneously with climate-driven changes in water availability. Over the past several years, many regions have experienced extreme droughts, fueled by prolonged periods of reduced precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures...

Date published: April 16, 2019
Status: Active

A hydrological framework to improve precision of Vital Signs metrics in the Appalachian highlands

Stream flow is a fundamental driver of ecological structure and function, but its influence on bioassessment measures is poorly understood. Although extreme flow conditions (e.g., floods and droughts) have long been known to play a central role in structuring stream communities, a mechanistic understanding of the linkages between flow variables, landscape and local physical characteristics,...

Date published: April 15, 2019
Status: Active

Fish locomotion and biomechanics as limiting and optimizing factors in fish passage

Swimming ability determines how well fish are able to access habitat, and is a fundamental design consideration for passing fish at dams, road crossings, etc.  The purpose of this study plan is to improve understanding of how fish are able to negotiate zones of high velocity and turbulent flow, such as are found in fishways, culverts, as well as in natural areas.   Swimming performance is...