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

North Carolina Project


Assessing benefits to migratory fishes of habitat restored by dam removal

August 2006 - August 2011


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • USFWS Region 4
Weir used to monitor upstream and downstream fish migration

Many fish species migrate in order to reach suitable spawning or nursery habitat. All of these groups benefit when access to additional habitat is restored by dam removal. The Little River basin in North Carolina provides a valuable opportunity to examine how migratory fishes use habitat restored through dam removal. One problem in predicting the benefits of dam removal is that relatively little is known about how these fishes select spawning habitat (e.g., whether species use tributaries or mainstem rivers, deep versus shallow sites, or different substrates). Another limitation in predicting benefits of dam removal is that habitat preferences are poorly understood. Specific project objectives are: to determine fish abundance and migratory patterns during spring and to relate movements to physical variables including habitat availability. Information on spawning habitat will be used to develop refined models for predicting the benefits of fish passage or dam removal in other systems

Research Publications Publication Date
Raabe, J. K., B. Gardner, and J. E. Hightower. 2014. A spatial capture-recapture model to estimate fish survival and migration patterns from linear continuous monitoring arrays. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71:120-130. | Download September 2013
Presentations Presentation Date
Raabe, J. K., and J. E. Hightower. 2009. Assessing benefits to American shad of habitat restored by dam removals. American Fisheries Society, Nashville, Tennessee, August 30-September 3, 2009. September 2009
Raabe, J. K., and J. E. Hightower. 2010. Evaluating benefits to American shad of habitat restored by dam removals. American Fisheries Society, 140th Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, September 12 – 16, 2010. September 2010
Raabe, J. K., and J. E. Hightower. 2011. Behavior of migratory fishes in a North Carolina river following dam removals. Southern Division, American Fisheries Society, Tampa, Florida, January 13-16. January 2011
Raabe, J. K., and J. E. Hightower. 2011. Habitat use and survival of American shad following dam removals on a North Carolina river. 141th Annual Meeting, American Fisheries Society, Seattle, WA, September 4-8, 2011. September 2011
Raabe, J. K., and J. E. Hightower. 2012. Restored habitat use by migratory fishes following complete and partial dam removals. NC Chapter, American Fisheries Society, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 28-29, 2012. February 2012
Raabe, J. K., and J. E. Hightower. 2013. Introduced flathead catfish migrations and potential predation impact in a North Carolina river. Southern Division, American Fisheries Society, Nashville, Tennessee, February 7-10, 2013. February 2013
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Raabe, J.K. 2012. Factors Influencing Distribution and Survival of Migratory Fishes Following Multiple Low-Head Dam Removals on a North Carolina River. PhD Dissertation, North Carolina State University. December 2012