This report updates and revises the 2010 “ Status of Fish Habitats in the United States” that summarized initial results of a comprehensive national assessment of aquatic habitats at an unprecedented scale and level of detail. This 2015 report provides even greater detail and improves our knowledge of the condition of fish habitat in the United States. The 2010 inland streams assessment characterized fish habitat condition using stream fish data from more than 26,000 stream reaches, while the 2015 assessment was based on fish data from more than 39,000 stream reaches nationally. To increase accuracy, the 2015 inland stream assessment incorporated 12 additional human disturbance variables into the fish analysis when compared to the 2010 assessment. Associations between all human disturbance variables summarized in both catchments as well as stream buffers were tested against stream fish metrics to develop assessment scores. Additional variables incorporated into the 2015 assessment and their summary within catchments and buffers allowed for more explicit characterization of the diverse set of disturbances to stream fish habitats occurring across the Nation than what occurred in 2010, and this was made possible due in part to advances in available GIS layers. With the incorporation of these additional disturbances, managers and decision makers can use assessment results to more explicitly identify limits to stream fish habitats. Even with the additional disturbances incorporated into 2015 assessment, results may overestimate fish habitat condition, as localized and regionally-specific disturbances are still not available in some cases.
This report summarizes the results of an unprecedented nationwide assessment of human effects on fish habitat in the rivers and estuaries of the United States. The assessment assigns watersheds and estuaries a risk of current habitat degradation ranging from very low to very high. These results allow comparison of aquatic habitats across the nation and within 14 sub-regions. The results also identify some of the major sources of habitat degradation. Unfortunately, not all sources of habitat degradation could be assessed, so some important factors such as small dams and abandoned mines could not be incorporated. Marine waters, lakes, and reservoirs were not assessed due to resource and data constraints, so previously published information was used to describe the condition of these fish habitats. Future revisions to the assessment will incorporate the missing data to the extent it is available.
Click the above link to view the 2010 National Fish Habitat Assessment and Report. The National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) Data System supports coordinated efforts of scientific assessment and data exchange among the partners and stakeholders of the aquatic habitat community. Under the guidance of the NFHP Science and Data Committee, the system provides data access and visualization tools for NFHP data products and contributed data from partners. The underlying data management tools and best practices are the foundation enabling partners, researchers, and managers to access and use data now and in the future.