Reservoirs are inextricable parts of our landscapes. Constructed to meet a variety of human needs, reservoirs impact almost every major river system in the United States, affecting habitat for fish and other aquatic species and, in turn, being affected by the health of the watershed upstream. Reservoirs, their associated watersheds, and their downstream flows constitute an interdependent, functioning system. Effective management of these reservoir systems – maintaining their ecological function and biological health- is essential to the conservation of our nation’s aquatic resources and habitats. It requires that we minimize the adverse impacts of reservoirs on their watersheds and maximize their utility for aquatic habitat.

Multiple impairments are found in reservoir systems. These impairments, exacerbated by human population growth and projected changes in temperature and rainfall caused by climate change, adversely affect fish, other aquatic species, and their habitats and diminish the quality of life for people.

Science and Data Committee

In order to develop better understanding of the habitat issues in U.S. reservoirs and their solutions, Friends of Reservoirs’ administrative side (Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership) set up a Science and Data Committee.  The Science and Data Committee includes fisheries scientists from across the nation who are actively working on reservoir fish habitat issues.  This group identifies research priorities, conducts or supports reservoir fisheries research, and provides recommendations to improve the effectiveness of FOR projects.  Past and present research priorities include:

  • Assessment of reservoir habitat impairments across the U.S.
  • Compilation of reservoir metrics from various databases, facilitating better evaluation of reservoir conditions
  • Revision of the habitat scoring methodology for FOR projects
  • Establishment of Best Management Practices for various reservoir habitat impairments
  • Assessment of effectiveness of Best Management Practices

Committee members include fisheries and aquatic scientists from across the nation who work on reservoir habitat issues:

  • Jeff Boxrucker, Coordinator
  • Dr. Leandro (Steve) Miranda, U.S. Geological Survey Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit/Mississippi State University
  • Dr. Reed Green, U.S. Geological Survey Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center
  • Dr. Kirk Rodgers, University of Arkansas – Little Rock
  • Rebecca Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Science and Data Goal

As part of the National Fish Habitat Plan’s planning process, the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership manages an ever-evolving “Science and Data Goal” including objectives and strategies for achieving that goal.  To read the current goal, please see Science and Data Goal.

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