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USGS Chesapeake Bay Activities

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USGS National Efforts: Fisheries Program (FAER)

Chesapeake Bay Watershed and link to information on the poster
Partner Information

Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP)—Sustainable Fisheries Goal Team

CBP—Restoring Habitats Goal Team

Executive Order 13508—Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (see "Recover Habitat" on pages 48–59 and "Sustain Fish and Wildlife" on pages 60–71)

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture



USGS Role in Understanding Stream Habitats Needed to Support Brook Trout and Other Key Watershed Species

graphic showing fish with lesions

The streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed provide critical habitat for freshwater fish such as brook trout and migratory species such as river herring, American shad, and American eel. These species have declined due to degrading stream conditions and barriers preventing migration.

The Watershed Agreement focuses on restoring watershed conditions for brook trout, implementing fish passage projects to open 1,000 additional stream miles, and improving the health of streams. The Chesapeake Bay Program “Restoring Habitats” Goal Team, under leadership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working to meet these goals.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is supporting these restoration efforts by providing science that supports:

The USGS is supporting FWS efforts to address brook trout habitat restoration as described in the Executive Order strategy, including providing science to help FWS, the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, and other partners enhance several studies. The USGS is planning activities to

  1. revise the metrics of watershed conditions to restore brook trout populations,
  2. assess the potential impact of land and climate change on stream temperature and implications for brook trout populations, and
  3. assess the impact of shale-gas drilling operations on stream habitat.

The USGS is also supporting partners to understand flow, water-quality, and sediment changes in streams as dams are removed and monitoring to determine if key species (such as river herring, American shad, and American eel) have returned as a result of fish passage projects.

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