Fish Habitat Partnerships

Western Native Trout Initiative

Apache trout (George Andrejko, Arizona Game and Fish Department)

Board recognized February, 2008
Trout are important as an “indicator species” of a watershed. When a watershed is in trouble, the trout are the first to die. Species like the greenback cutthroat, gila, and westslope cutthroat trout thrived in Western watersheds until their habitats were altered because of roads, dams, agriculture, and logging. Human introduction of non-native trout species, such as rainbow, brown and brook trout put further pressure on native species by out-competing them for food and by eating native fry. Conservation of Western native trout and their habitats is critical in maintaining their cultural, scientific and recreational value.

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership

Southeast Regional Partnership boat

Board recognized October, 2007
The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) was initiated in 2001 to address the myriad issues related to the management of aquatic resources in the southeastern United States, which includes about 26,000 miles of species-rich aquatic shoreline and over 70 major river basins. The area faces significant threats to its aquatic resources, as illustrated by the fact that 34% of North American fish species and 90% of the native mussel species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern are found in the Southeast.

Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership

Mat-Su Basin

Board recognized October, 2007
The Matanuska-Susitna Basin, or Mat-Su, covers 24,500 square miles in southcentral Alaska, roughly the combined size of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The basin supports thriving populations of chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon as well as world-class rainbow trout, char, and grayling, making it one of the country’s premier sportfishing and wildlife viewing destinations. Salmon and other fish are at the heart of Alaskan ecosystems, economy, and culture.

Driftless Area Restoration Effort

Driftless area stream

Board recognized October, 2007
The Driftless Area is a 24,000 square-mile area that encompasses portions of southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin and northwest Illinois bypassed by the last continental glacier. The region has a high concentration of spring-fed coldwater streams and is recognized for its high diversity of plants, animals, and habitats. The Driftless Area Restoration Effort (DARE) partnership formed to address habitat degradation, loss, and alteration that are the primary factors contributing to the decline of fish populations in this unique region.

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture

Eastern brook trout

Board recognized October, 2007
In 2005, in recognition of the need to address regional and range-wide threats to brook trout, a group of public and private entities formed the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) to halt the decline of brook trout and restore fishable populations of this iconic species. The EBTJV directs locally-driven efforts that build partnerships to improve fish habitat, working to ensure healthy, fishable brook trout populations throughout their historic eastern United States range.

Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership

Photo Credit: Greg Syverson

Board recognized, 2008
The Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership is a made up of local communities, Native organizations, subsistence users, anglers, hunters, commercial fishing interests, lodge owners, hunting and fishing guides, tourism interests, non-profit organizations, federal, state, and local agencies and corporations and foundations working cooperatively to conserve fish, wildlife and habitat and perpetuate the uses they support through voluntary habitat conservation in Southwest Alaska.

Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass (Copyright: Eric Engbretson)

Board recognized March, 2009
Glacial lakes are natural lakes that were formed by glacial activity and are an abundant and recognizable feature of the landscape over much of the upper Midwest. For example, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin each boast of more than 10,000 natural lakes over 10-acres in size within their respective boundaries. The Prairie Pothole Region of the county is an important waterfowl production area for North America and includes portions of eastern Dakotas, western Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa. Clearly, these glacial lakes are a regionally and nationally significant economic and cultural natural resource and yet they are increasingly threatened by a number of human-driven factors affecting sustainable fish and wildlife habitats. These drivers are not universally distributed across the region, but rather most intensely affect glacial lakes on a gradient generally oriented from south to north.

Desert Fish Habitat Partnership

Mexican Stoneroller

Board recognized March, 2009
Desert fish have declined across these arid lands as a result of habitat loss and alteration and the widespread introduction and establishment of nonnative aquatic species. Despite numerous federal and state laws, regulations, and policies to protect and recover native desert fishes and their habitats, most of them remain imperiled.Current habitat conditions and threats require specific management actions and focused consideration of desert fishes if these species and their habitats are to be protected and remain viable into the future.

Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership

`O`opu nopili

Board recognized March, 2009
The Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership is composed of a diverse group of partners that have the capacity to plan and implement a technically sound statewide aquatic habitat restoration program. In addition to state and federal resource agencies, our partners include local watershed coalitions, non-profit organizations, industry groups and private landowners who are interested in increasing effective stewardship of stream, estuarine, coral reef and coastal marine habitats. The partnership is supporting on-the-ground restoration including removal of barriers to native fish and invertebrate migration, controlling invasive riparian vegetation, improving water quality in coastal areas and contributing to educational support for native Hawaiian student interns.

Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership

Board recognized March, 2009
The geographic extent of the ACFHP stretches from Maine to the Florida Keys, including all or part of 16 States. It covers 476,357 square miles, including land areas inland to the headwaters of coastal rivers, and ocean areas outward to the continental slope. The ACFHP plans to work throughout the region, but will focus on estuarine environments and place less emphasis on coastal headwaters and offshore marine ecosystems.

The Atlantic coast is home to some of the most populous and fastest growing areas of the United States. Aquatic habitats of the Atlantic coast are being heavily impacted by avariety of human disturbances.

Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership

young-of-year Lake Sturgeon (Photo Credit: USFWS)

Board recognized October, 2009
The international Great Lakes Basin is a unique and biologically diverse region containing the largest surface freshwater system in the world, with sport and commercial fisheries valued at over $7 billion annually. The fishery and aquatic resources of the Great Lakes have suffered detrimental effects of invasive species, loss of biodiversity, poor water quality, contaminants, loss or degradation of coastal wetlands, land use changes, and other factors.

The Basin includes all of Michigan; portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in the U.S. and Ontario and Quebec in Canada. It covers 295,710 square miles, including 94,250 square miles of surface water and 201,460 square miles of land in the U.S. and Canada. The Great Lakes and connecting waters have over 11,000 miles of coastline.

Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership

Ohio River Basin (Photo Credit: Ken Cooke)

Board recognized October, 2009
The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership was formed to protect, restore, and enhance priority habitat for fish and mussels in the watersheds of the Ohio River Basin. We pursue this mission for the benefit of the public, but what brings us to the table is as diverse as the basin itself. Whether it is sport fish, mussels, imperiled fish, water quality, or one of many other drivers, what bonds us is the Basin and our desire to work together to protect, restore, and enhance her aquatic resources.

The partnership encompasses the entire 981 miles of the Ohio River mainstem (the second largest river in the U.S. as measured by annual discharge) and 143,550 square miles of the watershed. A decision was made to exclude the Tennessee-Cumberland sub-basin to limit overlap with SARP.

Great Plains Fish Habitat Partnership

Topeka Shiner (Photo Credit: Garold Sneegas)

Board recognized October, 2009
Streams of the Great Plains are home to a wide diversity of aquatic fauna adapted to harsh changes in temperature and water availability. Low human population density has enabled many Great Plains streams to remain relatively unimpaired, yet aquatic species have experienced a slow but steady decline in abundance and diversity during the 20th Century and continue to face challenges that threaten their viability.

Existing habitat loss are attributed to numerous factors including the conversion of native prairie to land uses for agriculture, energy development, and urbanization, which are reflected in degraded water quality, water quantity, fragmentation, and isolation of rivers from their floodplains. Climate change and invasive species are also factors affecting Great Plains stream habitat.

Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership

Lake Houston (Photo Courtesy: TPW)

Board recognized October, 2009
Reservoirs are inextricable parts of our natural landscapes; they cannot be isolated or dismissed in conservation management. Constructed to meet a variety of human needs, they impact almost every major river system in the United States, affecting to various degrees habitat for fish and other aquatic species and, in turn, affected by the health of the watershed in which they reside. Reservoirs, their associated watersheds, and their downstream flows constitute interdependent, functioning systems. Effective management of these reservoir systems – maintaining their ecological function and biological health – is essential to the conservation of our nation’s aquatic resources and their habitats. It requires that we minimize the adverse impacts of reservoirs on their watersheds (and watersheds upon reservoirs) and maximize their utility for aquatic habitat.

Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership

Board recognized January, 2010
Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership is a conservation partnership developing on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. This partnership is working with the National Fish Habitat Action Plan to protect, restore, and enhance our area's fish and aquatic communities.

California Fish Passage Forum

Ohio River Basin (Photo Credit: Ken Cooke)

Board recognized March, 2010
The mission of the California Fish Passage Forum is to protect and restore listed anadromous salmonid species, and other aquatic organisms, in California by promoting the collaboration among public and private sectors for fish passage improvement projects and programs. Species of concern include: coho and chinook salmon, and steelhead trout.

Website: http://www.cafishpassageforum.org

Fishers & Farmers Partnership

Seitz Farm

Board recognized March, 2010
Our vision rests on a belief that the combined experience, knowledge and skills of fishers and farmers can measurably improve the health of land and streams in the altered landscape of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. To advance this purpose, rural landowners voluntarily develop and implement science=based solutions to local water quality issues, with the support of conservationists. As landowners achieve their own goals for conservation and sustainable prosperity, successful practices will be demonstrated and effects measured, lessons will be learned and shared throughout the basin, and ultimately a globally significant landscape will be renewed.

Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership

Board recognized January, 2012
The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership's (PMEP) mission is to protect, enhance, and restore ecological habitats within estuaries and nearshore marine environments to sustain healthy native fish communities and support sustainable human uses that depend on healthy fish populations.

The PMEP originated in 2009 when representatives from Oregon, Washington and California agencies and non-governmental entities met to discuss the need to protect and restore habitat for fish species that use estuaries and nearshore marine areas.

Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership

Board recognized March, 2014
The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership works to foster cooperative fish habitat conservation in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems across the southern panhandle of Alaska including the dynamic watersheds and waterways that make up the Alexander Archipelago. Covering nearly 17 million acres of this region is the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States and a key producer of salmon. The Partnership’s mission is to support cooperative fish habitat conservation, restoration, and management across the region with consideration of economic, social, and cultural interests of local communities in its efforts.

"Candidate" Fish Habitat Partnerships

Currently (March 2014) three "Candidate" Fish Habitat Partnerships have stated their intent to apply for recognition as an official partner under the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Below is a current listing of "Candidate" FHPs:

Salmon In The City
Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee
North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership