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Community metrics from inter-agency compilation of inland fish sampling data within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

September 17, 2021

This data release contains calculated metrics which summarize various biodiversity and functional/life history trait information about fish communities sampled across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed as well as ancillary data related to time/place of sampling and sampling methodology. The fish sampling data used to compute these metrics were compiled from various fish sampling programs conducted by state and federal agencies, county governments, universities, and river basin commissions across the watershed. Prior to computation of community metrics data from individual fish sampling programs were investigated for completeness and data entry errors. Subsequently, desired fields were extracted from each individual dataset and manipulated into a common form and compiled, including standardization of species names and conversion of coordinates, to similar datum. Following compilation of the disparate datasets, fish species were linked to species-specific trait information including native status, tolerance, habitat preferences, and life history using a combination of the US EPA National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA; USEPA, 2020), the FishTraits database (Frimpong and Angermeier, 2008), and the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (NAS; USGS, 2020). Using trait designations from these sources a number of different summary metrics were calculated including those used by the EPA NRSA program and the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) 2015 Fish Habitat Assessment (Crawford et al., 2016).