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Long-term fish monitoring in large rivers: Utility of “benchmarking” across basins

February 21, 2017

In business, benchmarking is a widely used practice of comparing your own business processes to those of other comparable companies and incorporating identified best practices to improve performance. Biologists and resource managers designing and conducting monitoring programs for fish in large river systems tend to focus on single river basins or segments of large rivers, missing opportunities to learn from those conducting fish monitoring in other rivers. We briefly examine five long-term fish monitoring programs in large rivers in the United States (Colorado, Columbia, Mississippi, Illinois, and Tallapoosa rivers) and identify opportunities for learning across programs by detailing best monitoring practices and why these practices were chosen. Although monitoring objectives, methods, and program maturity differ between each river system, examples from these five case studies illustrate the important role that long-term monitoring programs play in interpreting temporal and spatial shifts in fish populations for both established objectives and newly emerging questions. We suggest that deliberate efforts to develop a broader collaborative network through benchmarking will facilitate sharing of ideas and development of more effective monitoring programs.

Publication Year 2017
Title Long-term fish monitoring in large rivers: Utility of “benchmarking” across basins
DOI 10.1080/03632415.2017.1276330
Authors David L. Ward, Andrew F. Casper, Timothy D. Counihan, Jennifer M. Bayer, Ian R. Waite, John J. Kosovich, Colin Chapman, Elise R. Irwin, Jennifer S. Sauer, Brian Ickes, Alexa McKerrow
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fisheries
Index ID 70182214
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center; Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries; GAP Analysis Project