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

Long, J.M. and C. Martin. 2008. The evolution of fisheries management of the upper Chattahoochee River in response to changing water management. Pages 21-36 in M.S. Allen, S. Sammons, and M.J. Maceina, editors. Balancing fisheries management and water uses for impounded river systems. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 62, Bethesda, Maryland.


The Upper Chattahoochee River (UCR) basin is typical of many river systems in the southeastern United States. A warmwater system with high biodiversity, the creation of impoundments for human water use has altered water quality and quantity and, in some reaches, converted it into a coldwater system. To recover lost fishing opportunities, nonnative trout (Salmonidae) were introduced into the system and a popular fishery developed. Recent drought, human population growth, and increased water use has resulted in changes in the fish populations and fisheries management objectives in the UCR basin. As water allocation discussions continue among the states of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, the future of the fishery in the UCR basin is unknown. This paper describes the changes in fisheries management in the UCR basin during the last century in relation to impoundment and increased water use in the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta, Georgia.