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Aquatic Ecosystem Health

The role of the Aquatic Ecosystem Health program is to conduct research to protect, mitigate, and enhance the health of aquatic ecosystems.  Research conducted within the Program is focused on the following 3 areas of study, (1) controlling aquatic invasive species, (2) fisheries restoration, and (3) understanding the impacts of contaminants on aquatic ecosystems.

Filter Total Items: 77

CarpDAT Invasive Carp Data Catalog

Four types of invasive carp fish species are currently found in the United States: black, grass, silver, and bighead carps. These species are fast growing, prolific feeders that out-compete native fish species and drastically alter the natural ecosystems they invade.
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CarpDAT Invasive Carp Data Catalog

Four types of invasive carp fish species are currently found in the United States: black, grass, silver, and bighead carps. These species are fast growing, prolific feeders that out-compete native fish species and drastically alter the natural ecosystems they invade.
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Evaluate Propagation Efforts and Determine Dispersal Patterns for Quadrula fragosa from Tagged, Artificially Infested Host Fish (Ictalurus punctatus) in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN)

The Winged Mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa) is only known to inhabit five locations in the U.S., and the population in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is isolated both physically and genetically from the other populations. In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued Reasonable and Prudent Measures, which required the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to establish...
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Evaluate Propagation Efforts and Determine Dispersal Patterns for Quadrula fragosa from Tagged, Artificially Infested Host Fish (Ictalurus punctatus) in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN)

The Winged Mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa) is only known to inhabit five locations in the U.S., and the population in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is isolated both physically and genetically from the other populations. In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued Reasonable and Prudent Measures, which required the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to establish...
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Improving Survival of Juvenile Winged Mapleleaf Mussels (Quadrula fragosa) Through Identification of Host Fish Overwintering Areas

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN) is one of the last refuges for rapidly declining populations of native unionid mussels in the United States and supports the only known self-sustaining population of the federally endangered Winged Mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa) in the upper Mississippi River basin. The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the only known host for Winged...
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Improving Survival of Juvenile Winged Mapleleaf Mussels (Quadrula fragosa) Through Identification of Host Fish Overwintering Areas

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN) is one of the last refuges for rapidly declining populations of native unionid mussels in the United States and supports the only known self-sustaining population of the federally endangered Winged Mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa) in the upper Mississippi River basin. The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the only known host for Winged...
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Database and web application for invasive carp catch data (Illinois River Catch Database)

Four types of invasive carp are currently found in the United States: black, grass, silver, and bighead carps. These species are fast growing, prolific feeders that out-compete native fish species and drastically alter the natural ecosystems they invade. To prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes, the multi-agency Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) implements...
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Database and web application for invasive carp catch data (Illinois River Catch Database)

Four types of invasive carp are currently found in the United States: black, grass, silver, and bighead carps. These species are fast growing, prolific feeders that out-compete native fish species and drastically alter the natural ecosystems they invade. To prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes, the multi-agency Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) implements...
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Database and web application for invasive carp telemetry data (FishTracks)

Four types of invasive carp fish species, are currently found in the United States: black, grass, silver, and bighead carps. These species are fast growing, prolific feeders that out-compete native fish species and drastically alter the natural ecosystems they invade. To prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes, the multi-agency Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC)...
link

Database and web application for invasive carp telemetry data (FishTracks)

Four types of invasive carp fish species, are currently found in the United States: black, grass, silver, and bighead carps. These species are fast growing, prolific feeders that out-compete native fish species and drastically alter the natural ecosystems they invade. To prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes, the multi-agency Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC)...
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Development of Sampling Protocols and Diagnostic Tools for Assessment of Freshwater Mussel Health

Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic EcosystemsThe role of disease in freshwater mussel declines has been largely ignored due to the lack of appropriate diagnostic tools. Furthermore, health assessment of mussels in conjunction with restoration and propagation has not been considered during stocking and augmentation activities. This project will develop standard...
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Development of Sampling Protocols and Diagnostic Tools for Assessment of Freshwater Mussel Health

Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic EcosystemsThe role of disease in freshwater mussel declines has been largely ignored due to the lack of appropriate diagnostic tools. Furthermore, health assessment of mussels in conjunction with restoration and propagation has not been considered during stocking and augmentation activities. This project will develop standard...
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Development of a Broad Microarray Technology to Survey for Aquatic Pathogens

Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic EcosystemsThe need to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems and sustain healthy communities is greatly recognized. Aquatic pathogens pose a threat to many organisms, and being able to identify and test for an array of aquatic pathogens is important in understanding the overall health of an aquatic system. A DNA microarray tool will be...
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Development of a Broad Microarray Technology to Survey for Aquatic Pathogens

Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic EcosystemsThe need to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems and sustain healthy communities is greatly recognized. Aquatic pathogens pose a threat to many organisms, and being able to identify and test for an array of aquatic pathogens is important in understanding the overall health of an aquatic system. A DNA microarray tool will be...
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Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic Ecosystems

Native freshwater mussels play a critical role in aquatic environments and are considered “ecosystem engineers” and indicators of water quality by constantly filtering water. Populations of native freshwater mussels have declined in recent years, and this decline has been attributed to factors such as habitat degradation, pollution, and invasive species, among others. The importance of these...
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Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic Ecosystems

Native freshwater mussels play a critical role in aquatic environments and are considered “ecosystem engineers” and indicators of water quality by constantly filtering water. Populations of native freshwater mussels have declined in recent years, and this decline has been attributed to factors such as habitat degradation, pollution, and invasive species, among others. The importance of these...
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Investigation Into Mass Mussel Die-off Events

Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic EcosystemsThe decline of native freshwater mussels has the potential to devastate aquatic communities. Although factors such as habitat degradation, pollution, and invasive species have been linked to this decline, these potential causes cannot fully explain the large-scale mussel die-offs that have occurred in the past 20 years...
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Investigation Into Mass Mussel Die-off Events

Assessing Impacts of Emerging and Established Diseases to Aquatic EcosystemsThe decline of native freshwater mussels has the potential to devastate aquatic communities. Although factors such as habitat degradation, pollution, and invasive species have been linked to this decline, these potential causes cannot fully explain the large-scale mussel die-offs that have occurred in the past 20 years...
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Management Tools for Dreissenid Mussels

Dreissenid mussels have posed an aquatic invasive species challenge in the United States since their arrival in the Great Lakes in the 1980s. Zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and Quagga (D. bugensis) mussels are filter feeders with high reproductive capacity. Their behaviors result in altered nutrient cycles, shifts in trophic structures, and extirpation of some native species in systems where they...
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Management Tools for Dreissenid Mussels

Dreissenid mussels have posed an aquatic invasive species challenge in the United States since their arrival in the Great Lakes in the 1980s. Zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and Quagga (D. bugensis) mussels are filter feeders with high reproductive capacity. Their behaviors result in altered nutrient cycles, shifts in trophic structures, and extirpation of some native species in systems where they...
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Development of Selective Control Tools

Management Tools for Dreissenid MusselsCurrently, dreissenid mussel populations are spreading and becoming a growing problem in many aquatic systems, making it important to find management techniques that are selective for the invasive mussel populations while leaving the native populations intact. Control technology for dreissenids in open water currently relies on a limited number of...
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Development of Selective Control Tools

Management Tools for Dreissenid MusselsCurrently, dreissenid mussel populations are spreading and becoming a growing problem in many aquatic systems, making it important to find management techniques that are selective for the invasive mussel populations while leaving the native populations intact. Control technology for dreissenids in open water currently relies on a limited number of...
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Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide to Control Dreissenid Mussels

Management Tools for Dreissenid MusselsCarbon dioxide (CO2) has been suggested as a chemical control for a variety of invasive aquatic organisms, including Asian Carp. USGS researchers and partners evaluated the efficacy of low CO2 concentrations for preventing zebra mussel larval (veliger) settlement and during summer 2019 in a harbor of the upper Mississippi River. The lowest CO2 concentration...
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Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide to Control Dreissenid Mussels

Management Tools for Dreissenid MusselsCarbon dioxide (CO2) has been suggested as a chemical control for a variety of invasive aquatic organisms, including Asian Carp. USGS researchers and partners evaluated the efficacy of low CO2 concentrations for preventing zebra mussel larval (veliger) settlement and during summer 2019 in a harbor of the upper Mississippi River. The lowest CO2 concentration...
Learn More