Fish and Aquatic Ecology

Science Center Objects

USGS scientists conduct studies to understand how aquatic species interact with each other and their environment in a wide range of aquatic habitats, including streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal areas. USGS scientists quantify and describe functional relationships among aquatic species and habitats to describe aquatic community structure, function, adaptation, and sustainability. Our science leads to better management and conservation strategies for aquatic species, communities, and entire ecosystems.

Learn more about our research by visiting the web pages below.


River Productivity

Science Center: Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center

Biological production represents the total amount of living material (biomass) that was produced during a defined period of time. This production is important because some of it is used for food and some is valued for recreation, it is a direct measure of total ecosystem processes, and it sustains biological diversity.


Population Assessment and Potential Functional Roles of Native Mussels in the Upper Mississippi River

Science Center: Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center

The results of this study suggest that native mussels play an integral role in this ecosystem by sequestering large volumes of suspended materials that can be used by other benthic organisms.


Distribution and Controls Over Habitat and Food Web Structures and Processes in Great Lakes Estuaries

Science Center: Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center

The overall goal of this project is to link biological, hydrological and societal controls over rivermouth structure and function within an improved scientific framework that will form the basis for restoration, management and future research.


Community Characteristics of Benthic Invertebrates

Science Center: Columbia Environmental Research Center

Biological assessments (Bioassessments) are valuable for evaluating the condition or health of streams, non-wadeable rivers, and wetlands, and these assessments are important in meeting and maintaining goals and objectives of the Clean Water Act. Biotic assessments (or, biosurveys) utilize resident biological communities inhabiting specific habitats in aquatic environments such as macroinvertebrates, fish and algae to evaluate the biotic integrity of these ecosystems.


Fish Ecology

Science Center: Leetown Science Center

We focus on the fish that live in streams; how environmental variation, barriers to movement, and landscape characteristics influence changes in abundance over time and long-term population persistence in a changing world.


Gulf Sturgeon Ecological Investigations

Science Center: Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Beginning in 1986, USGS has been investigating sturgeon population abundance and ecology throughout its range, but mostly in the Suwannee River.


Life-History & Ecology Projects

Science Center: Alaska Science Center

Fish and aquatic habitats in Alaska support important commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries and provide forage fish that support wildlife populations.  We work collaboratively with hydrologists, geologists and other biologists to study fish and aquatic systems in an ecosystem based framework.  


Developing stream temperature networks for the Greater Yellowstone to aid in managing aquatic resources under a changing climate

Science Center: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Understanding the effects of anticipated changes in climate on aquatic resources and means for managing these resources will ultimately require accurate linkages between empirical data and regional climatic patterns. 


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