Changes in stream fish distribution and occurrence in seven National Park Service units of the Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network
July 2020 - December 2023
- National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) mission to preserve, protect, and maintain the integrity of park ecosystems for the enjoyment of future generations relies upon access to science-based information regarding the status and trends of ecosystem condition. The Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network (ERMN) includes nine parks located in four states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia ranging in size from approximately 66 to 30,000 hectares with over 690 km of rivers and streams. The ERMN documents long-term change in the ecological integrity of one of the most abundant surface water ecosystems types in the network (high gradient, wadeable streams) by monitoring stream fish communities. Assessment of changes in fish community composition, occupancy and abundance is necessary in order to ensure the NPS mission is achieved. The project is a collaboration of researchers from USGS, NPS, and Pennsylvania State University. The statistical models developed during this project will inform decision making processes for the management of park ecosystems.