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Analyses of fish habitat in watersheds by three different approaches at different scales of effort are compared. In 1990 and 1991, 251 streams in various watersheds within the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia were surveyed for fish habitat and fish presence by a single walk from mouth to headwater terminus. The State of Washington Timber, Fish and Wildlife multidisciplinary procedure was conducted in 1995 and 1996 in four watersheds in Oregon. From 1990 to 1994 the South Branch of Onondaga Creek in central New York was intensively studied. Although each effort was designed to meet the goals of the specific project, the ability of each to provide fisheries data relative to landuse can be compared.

Fish distribution, species composition, spatial variability in densities, hydrologic regime, landuse history, habitat quality and quantity for various species, and prescriptions for improvement for habitat quality are evaluated at different levels of confidence for each method. Level of effort with respect to person hours and necessary expertise are compared to confidence in the results. Overall understanding of how the watersheds and associated land management activities provide and maintain fish habitat is evaluated for each approach.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-01-01

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