Applications of the 2015 National Assessment of Stream Fish Habitats: Information for Enhanced Decision Making

, USGS | Author(s): Wesley Daniel, Michigan State University; Dana Infante, Michigan State University; Kyle Herreman, Michigan State University; Arthur Cooper, Michigan State University; Yin-Phan Tsang, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Gary Whelan, Michigan DNR Fisheries Division; William Taylor, Michigan State University

One goal of the National Fish Habitat Partnership is to assess condition of the Nation’s stream fish habitats to identify threats to and opportunities for conservation of stream fishes. In 2015, the second assessment was completed, resulting in a continuous picture of habitat condition for all streams of the contiguous US based on stream fish responses to human landscape disturbances. Assessment results offer an unprecedented view into the condition of and limits to fish habitats across the US, but results also provide spatially-explicit information on 1) impacts of different anthropogenic stressors to different groups of fishes as well as 2) how those impacts vary across large regions. Our presentation highlights details of our analytical approach and also show assessment results tailored to groups of species of interest to management. We present results in regional and national-scale maps with other spatial information including locations of key stressors, protected lands, and future risks to stream habitats to highlight the utility of our work for conservation decision-making. Our large-scale view of the condition of and limits to stream fish habitats provides improved information for more effectively managing aquatic habitats and fishes they support from current and future threats.