Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wyoming
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wyoming Project

Implications of Stream Fragmentation for Climate Change Resilience of Northern Prairie Fishes

August 2022 - December 2025


Participating Agencies

  • US Geological Survey

Fishes native to the northern prairie ecoregion of North America are adapted to harsh conditions such as seasonal flooding and drying, often recolonizing habitats from refuge habitats. However, climate change induced drought and anthropogenic barriers are fragmenting streams and disrupting natural recolonization pathways. Our goal is to evaluate the vulnerability of prairie stream fishes to stream fragmentation and climate-induced drought, and explore potential mitigation strategies. We are also collaborating with partners to evaluate the efficacy of stream restoration to increase the extent and availability of drought-refuge habitats. The project is a collaboration of researchers across multiple agencies and includes the USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, fisheries in Wyoming and Montana, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Land Management, and the University of Wyoming. Our research will provide products that will help manage for processes (e.g., habitat connectivity to allow recolonization post-disturbance or drying events) that can maintain resilient fish populations in the face of climate change.

Presentations Presentation Date
Walters, A., J. Baldock, E. Rieger, and N. Clancy, R. Sando, R. McShane, and J. Lund. 2024. Co-produced research to understand climate change effects and adaptive capacity of native stream fishes. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting 2024. September 2024
Rieger, E., N. Clancy, and A. Walters. 2024. Understanding fish sensitivity to stream intermittency. The Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society 2024 Conference. April 2024

Niall G. Clancy, Phaedra E. Budy, and Annika. W. Walters. 2024. High climate vulnerability of glacial-relict fishes. The Wyoming Wildlife Society / Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative conference, Cody, Wyoming, USA.
April 2024