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Mid-Atlantic Threats

Challenges brook trout are facing in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the EBTJV.

This region has seen the greatest decline in brook trout. Within the mid-Atlantic region, brook trout populations are scattered primarily in headwater streams originating in the mountains and foothills that span the region. Brook trout also inhabit the spring-fed limestone creeks that are prevalent in central Pennsylvania. The most southern occurrence of piedmont brook trout occurs in Maryland. Much of this land area has been impacted by poor agricultural and forest land use practices, especially in the watersheds of the ridge and valley landforms common to this region.

Where they occur, acid precipitation and abandoned mine drainage severely impact Mid-Atlantic streams. There are currently no permanent methods to remediate the effects of acid in eastern lakes and streams. The most common management strategy is periodically adding limestone to streams. Source remediation can be successful and is preferred in treating mine drainages.

Growth of mid-Atlantic cities also has contributed to the loss of brook trout. This development has resulted in warm water temperatures due to loss of forest shading along streams, heated runoff from paved surfaces, over-widening streams, and loss of physical habitat and cover in streams.

Challenges in the Mid-Atlantic Region:

  1. Poor agriculture practices
  2. Urbanization
  3. Exotic species
  4. Acid effects from mine drainage and precipitation

Management Priorities:

  1. Protect the 23 intact watersheds remaining

  2. Improve water quality

  3. Promote and restore riparian forest

  4. Remove and prevent exotic fish

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