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File Octet Stream Removal of Two Dams in the Wetmore Run Watershed, PA_FY12 Project
As part of a plan to upgrade their public water supply to a non-dam alternative, the Borough of Galeton agreed to remove two dams and their associated impoundments. The dams were located on Wetmore Run and Right Branch of Wetmore Run, Potter County, PA. Both streams are classified as High Quality – Coldwater Fishery (HQ – CWF) by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and drain a predominantly forested watershed comprised of ~60% public land. The barriers blocked upstream Brook Trout passage to approximately 8.5 miles of headwater habitat, contributed to the elevation of instream temperatures, interrupted the natural flow regime, and negatively impacted ecosystem function. As a result of the dam removals, almost 8.5 miles of headwater habitat was reconnected to the rest of the upper Pine Creek Watershed, which contains several intact eastern Brook Trout populations.
Located in Projects / Project Completion Reports
File SEACAP: Southeast Aquatic Connectivity Assessment Project: Assessing the ecological impact of dams on Southeastern rivers
The Southeast Aquatic Connectivity Assessment Project (SEACAP) grew out of and builds on the conceptual framework of the Chesapeake Fish Passage Prioritization Project and the Northeast Aquatic Connectivity Project.
Located in Resources / Brook Trout Related Publications
File A regional neural network ensemble for predicting mean daily river water temperature
Water temperature is a fundamental property of river habitat and often a key aspect of river resource management, but measurements to characterize thermal regimes are not available for most streams and rivers. As such, we developed an artificial neural network (ANN) ensemble model to predict mean daily water temperature in 197,402 individual stream reaches during the warm season (May–October) throughout the native range of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in the eastern U.S. We compared four models with different groups of predictors to determine how well water temperature could be predicted by climatic, landform, and land cover attributes, and used the median prediction from an ensemble of 100 ANNs as our final prediction for each model. The final model included air temperature, landform attributes and forested land cover and predicted mean daily water temperatures with moderate accuracy as determined by root mean squared error (RMSE) at 886 training sites with data from 1980 to 2009 (RMSE = 1.91 C). Based on validation at 96 sites (RMSE = 1.82) and separately for data from 2010 (RMSE = 1.93), a year with relatively warmer conditions, the model was able to generalize to new stream reaches and years. The most important predictors were mean daily air temperature, prior 7 day mean air temperature, and network catchment area according to sensitivity analyses. Forest land cover at both riparian and catchment extents had relatively weak but clear negative effects. Predicted daily water temperature averaged for the month of July matched expected spatial trends with cooler temperatures in headwaters and at higher elevations and latitudes. Our ANN ensemble is unique in predicting daily temperatures throughout a large region, while other regional efforts have predicted at relatively coarse time steps. The model may prove a useful tool for predicting water temperatures in sampled and unsampled rivers under current conditions and future projections of climate and land use changes, thereby providing information that is valuable to management of river ecosystems and biota such as brook trout.
Located in Resources / Brook Trout Related Publications
File The temperature–productivity squeeze: constraints on brook trout growth along an Appalachian river continuum
We tested the hypothesis that brook trout growth rates are controlled by a complex interaction of food availability, water temperature, and competitor density. We quantified trout diet, growth, and consumption in small headwater tributaries characterized as cold with low food and high trout density, larger tributaries characterized as cold with moderate food and moderate trout density, and large main stems characterized as warm with high food and low trout density. Brook trout consumption was highest in the main stem where diets shifted from insects in headwaters to fishes and crayfish in larger streams. Despite highwater temperatures, trout growth rates also were consistently highest in the main stem, likely due to competitively dominant trout monopolizing thermal refugia. Temporal changes in trout density had a direct negative effect on brook trout growth rates. Our results suggest that competition for food constrains brook trout growth in small streams, but access to thermal refugia in productive main stem habitats enables dominant trout to supplement growth at a watershed scale. Brook trout conservation in this region should seek to relieve the ‘‘temperature–productivity squeeze,’’ whereby brook trout productivity is constrained by access to habitats that provide both suitable water temperature and sufficient prey.
Located in Resources / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Troff document Geomorphic, Flood, and Groundwater-Flow Characteristics of Bayfield Peninsula Streams, Wisconsin, and Implications for Brook-Trout Habitat
In 2002–03, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study of the geomorphic, flood, and groundwater-flow characteristics of five Bayfield Peninsula streams, Wisconsin (Cranberry River, Bark River, Raspberry River, Sioux River, and Whittlesey Creek) to determine the physical limitations for brook-trout habitat. The goals of the study were threefold: (1) to describe geomorphic characteristics and processes, (2) to determine how land-cover characteristics affect flood peaks, and (3) to determine how regional groundwater flow patterns affect base flow. The geomorphic characterization consisted of analyses of historical aerial photographs and General Land Office Survey notes, observations from helicopter video footage, surveys of valley cross sections, and coring. Sources of sediment were identified from the helicopter video and field surveys, and past erosion-control techniques were evaluated. Geomorphic processes, such as runoff sediment erosion, transport, and deposition, are driven by channel location within the drainage network, texture of glacial deposits, and proximity to postglacial lake shorelines; these processes have historically increased because of decreases in upland forest cover and channel roughness. Sources of sediment for all studied streams mainly came from bank, terrace, or bluff erosion along main stem reaches and along feeder tributaries that bisect main-stem entrenched valley sides. Bluff, terrace, and bank erosion were the major sources of sediment to Whittlesey Creek and the Sioux River. No active bluff erosion was observed on the Cranberry River or the Bark River but anecdotal information suggests that landslides occasionally happen on the Cranberry River. For the Bark River, sources of sediment were somewhat evenly divided among road crossings (bridges, culverts, and unimproved forest lanes), terrace erosion, bank erosion, and incision along upper main stems and feeder channels along valley sides. Evaluation of past erosion-control techniques indicated that bluffs were stabilized by a combination of artificial hardening and bioengineering of the bluff base and reducing mass wasting of the tops of the bluffs. Flood hydrographs for the Cranberry River were simulated for four land-cover scenarios—late 20th century (1992–93), presettlement (before 1870), peak agriculture (1928), and developed (25 percent urban). Results were compared to previous simulations of flood peaks for Whittlesey Creek and for North Fish Creek (southern adjacent basin to Whittlesey Creek). Even though most uplands are presently forested, flood peaks simulated for 1992–93 were 1.5 to 2 times larger than presettlement flood peaks. The increased flood peaks caused (1) increased incision along upper main stems and tributaries that bisect entrenched valley sides, (2) bluff and terrace erosion along reaches with entrenched valleys, (3) overbank deposition and bar formation in middle and lower main stems, and (4) aggradation in mouth areas. A base-flow survey was conducted and a groundwater-flow model was developed for the Bayfield Peninsula to delineate groundwater contributing areas. A deep aquifer system, which includes thick deposits of sand and the upper part of the bedrock, is recharged through the permeable sands in the center of the peninsula. Base flow is unevenly distributed among the Bayfield streams and depends on the amount of channel incision and the proximity of the channels to the recharge area and coarse outwash deposits. Groundwater contributing areas for the five streams do not coincide with surface-water-contributing areas. About 89 percent of total recharge to the deep aquifer system discharges to Bayfield streams; the remaining 11 percent directly discharges to Lake Superior. Historical land-cover changes have had negligible effects on groundwater-flow from the deep aquifer system. Available brook-trout habitat is dependent on the locations of groundwater upwellings, the sizes of flood peaks, and sediment loads. Management practices that focus on reducing or slowing runoff from upland areas and increasing channel roughness have potential to reduce flood peaks, erosion, and sedimentation and improve brook-trout habitat in all Bayfield Peninsula streams.
Located in Resources / Brook Trout Related Publications
File application/x-troff-ms Evaluation of Catch-and-Release Regulations on Brook Trout in Pennsylvania Streams
In 2004, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission implemented catch-and-release (CR) regulations on headwater stream systems to determine if eliminating angler harvest would result in an increase in the number of adult (≥100 mm) or large (≥175 mm) Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Under the CR regulations, angling was permitted on a year-round basis, no Brook Trout could be harvested at any time, and there were no tackle restrictions. A before-after–control-impact design was used to evaluate the experimental regulations. Brook Trout populations were monitored in 16 treatment (CR regulations) and 7 control streams (statewide regulations) using backpack electrofishing gear periodically for up to 15 years (from 1990 to 2003 or 2004) before the implementation of the CR regulations and over a 7–8-year period (from 2004 or 2005 to 2011) after implementation. We used Poisson mixed models to evaluate whether electrofishing catch per effort (CPE; catch/100 m2) of adult (≥100 mm) or large (≥175 mm) Brook Trout increased in treatment streams as a result of implementing CR regulations. Brook Trout CPE varied among sites and among years, and there was no significant effect (increase or decrease) of CR regulations on the CPE of adult or large Brook Trout. Results of our evaluation suggest that CR regulations were not effective at improving the CPE of adult or large Brook Trout in Pennsylvania streams. Low angler use, high voluntary catch and release, and slow growth rates in infertile headwater streams are likely the primary reasons for the lack of response.
Located in Resources / Brook Trout Related Publications
File text/texmacs Evaluating the Barrier Assessment Technique Derived from FishXing Software and the Upstream Movement of Brook Trout through Road Culverts
Anthropogenic barriers to fish passage, such as culverts and dams, are major factors impeding the persistence and recovery of aquatic species. Considerable work has focused on mitigating these impacts; however, activities associated with measuring and restoring connectivity of aquatic ecosystems often face challenges in determining the passability of barriers by aquatic species. Hydrological modeling software that incorporates biological aspects of a focal species is often used as a relatively inexpensive method for assessing barrier passability for restoration decisions. However, the biological relevance of these approaches remains to be rigorously tested. We assessed passage rates of PIT-tagged Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis through four road culverts and adjacent reference sites (unaltered areas of the streams) on the island of Newfoundland to determine whether upstream passage through road culverts was more restrictive than unaltered reference areas of the stream. Next, we examined the usefulness of barrier passability predictions derived from FishXing software by comparing them with in situ movement data for this species. Brook Trout passage for three of the four reference sites had a significantly higher range of passable stream flows compared with that for culverts, indicating the presence of velocity barriers in culverts. However, FishXing predictions of suitable fish passage discharges were conservative, and tagged fish successfully navigated partial barriers that were at least 2–3 times the upper limits of stream flow predicted to allow successful passage. The results of our study show a clear need for an improved understanding of fish movement through these structures so that barrier assessment techniques can be refined. The implications of not doing so may lead to restoration actions that result in limited biological benefit.
Located in Resources / Brook Trout Related Publications
File EBTJV 10 Year Anniversary Info Graphic (2014)
This info graphic summarizes the EBTJV's accomplishments during its first 10 years (2004-2014).
Located in Resources / EBTJV Print Material
File chemical/x-pdb 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement
This document describes the framework for the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Located in Resources / Holdings / Linked Documents
File Summary of EBTJV Steering Committee Meeting - Dec. 16, 2014
This document is the approved version of the summary for the EBTJV Steering Committee's conference called held December 16, 2014.
Located in Groups / / Conference Calls / 2014 Steering Committee Conference Call Summaries