Fish Population and Baseline Studies
Abundance and distribution data for fish assemblages and quantitative data describing the length growth and age structure of fish populations are important data for many projects, as they describe the extent and potential value of aquatic resources potentially affected by a project situation. These data form a reference point for existing conditions so that potential impact of a past action or anticipated changes to the resource by a proposed new action can be evaluated. These data may be used at the species level by fishery managers to evaluate a fishery, or evaluated at the ecosystem level to determine the ecological health of the water body relative to an existing or proposed action or to define the presence/absence, habitat use or change in abundance of species of interest.
Assessments of fish populations can be similar to Baseline Studies, but often driven by different motivations. For instance, population assessments of sport fish are often influenced by a desire to provide recreation or harvest for anglers, whereas population assessments of nongame fish typically aim at maintaining or enhancing the distribution and abundance of these species. Our team of fisheries professionals integrates population assessments of both types of fishes to implement ecosystem management properly.
Our fisheries scientists routinely conduct, manage or analyze studies concerned with issues related to riverine fish movements. Such studies have entailed comprehensive literature reviews, engineering design, as well as field investigations involving radio telemetry, hydroacoustic monitoring, and instream monitoring with nets and electrofishing techniques. Our assessments have been routinely accepted by resource agency personnel without need for extensive additional data gathering or analysis.
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