Fisheries Program

Advanced Tools and Technologies

USGS scientists develop and use innovative tools and technologies to advance fisheries science for conservation and management of aquatic resources in a changing world. Researchers collect, analyze, and disseminate data using advanced technologies to better understand our scientific understanding of healthy aquatic ecosystems and freshwater life. Our advanced science, tools and technologies help Federal, State, Tribal, and local resource managers better understand and manage fish and aquatic resources and develop proactive conservation solutions for the future. Researchers are using remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and satellite data with ecological and genetic approaches for visualizing and understanding aquatic ecosystems and species distributions across the United States. USGS fisheries scientists use telemetry to study the migratory behavior, habitat use patterns, and physiological responses of fishes living in a diversity of freshwater habitats. 

Filter Total Items: 30
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Mapping riverine habitats of the Delaware River using bathymetric LiDAR

Ecosystem management and assessment of rivers requires detailed data on bathymetry before estimates of aquatic habitats can be determined. However, mapping bathymetry in shallow rivers is challenging due to river depth limitations for watercraft.  Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology has revolutionized aerial mapping of topography and vegetation, but the infrared lasers used on these...

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...

Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

Climate change forecasts for eastern salmonids

Small streams in forests are likely to see dramatic shifts as global climate change influences air temperature and rain patterns. We have already seen warmer stream temperatures as air temperatures increase in summer in the Northeastern US. The intensity and duration of floods and droughts are also expected to magnify as future rain patterns shift. This project will evaluate how stream...

Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

Development of Next Generation Techniques of fecal samples collected from nestling cactus wren

Coastal cactus wren populations have declined in southern California over the last three decades. In San Diego County, this decline has been especially noticeable in the Otay area, which in 2014 supported 14 territories on conserved lands. In the past, there were 25-53 active territories reported for this same area, with the highest estimate in 1992. There is also concern the number of active...

Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

An ecosystem approach to assessing unconventional oil and gas impacts in aquatic ecosystems

The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) technology promises economic, societal and national security benefits.  However, technological developments in this field have rapidly outpaced scientific studies on potential environmental effects.  The effects of accidental UOG-related spills on environmental health are not adequately characterized, often occur in already ecological...

Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

Developing and testing eDNA markers for the Federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel, Alasmidonta heterodon and other key freshwater mussel species

Dwarf wedgemussel is a federally endangered freshwater mussel with a historic range spanning the Atlantic coast. However, populations have dramatically declines over the last 30 years.  Therefore, knowledge of current population distribution and abundance is critical to resource managers in order to monitor the species over time and to guide recovery actions. Manual survey efforts (snorkel or...

Date published: April 1, 2019
Status: Active

Metabarcoding of stomach contents from the Round Goby (Negobius melanostromus) in Pennsylvania

The Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus, is a small benthic fish native to the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. The first round goby found in the Pennsylvania waters was in 1996. Since then, round gobies are now the dominant benthic fish in many of the tributary streams in the Pennsylvanian waters of Lake Erie, including French Creek. French Creek is...

Contacts: Deborah D Iwanowicz, PhD, Jay Stauffer
Date published: March 29, 2019
Status: Active

Improving ecological flow science in the mainstem Delaware through WaterSMART

Demand for freshwater is increasing with human population growth and is exacerbated by water management practices, climate variability, and land use alternation.  Ecological flow science attempts to understand flows necessary to support aquatic organisms so that managers can balance these with diverse human water demands.  A primary focus of the USGS Northern Appalachian Research Laboratory (...

Date published: March 29, 2019
Status: Active

Development of fine-scale temperature models in the Delaware River: Application to predictive temperature modeling, decision support tools, and ecosystem services

Temperature is a primary driver of biological and ecological processes, and in rivers and streams influences distribution, reproduction, and behavior of aquatic species.  USGS Northern Appalachian Laboratory (NARL) researchers are working with resource managers in the Delaware River Basin and collaborators at USGS Fort Collins Science Center to predict and model riverine temperature,...

Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Genomic Mechanisms that Underlie Lack of Recovery of Prince William Sound Herring Following the 1990s Collapse

In the decades following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS), it has become increasingly apparent that oil can be toxic at extremely low concentrations to developing fish embryos including herring, where some toxic phenotypes may be apparent during embryogenesis, but some are delayed until later in life. Therefore, acute and lingering oil may act as an insidious selective force within...

Contacts: Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., Jacob Gregg, Ashley MacKenzie, William Richards, Andrew Whitehead, John Incardona, Nat Scholtz