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Title: River Fish Habitat Inventory Phase 3 phase III: multi-species models
Author: R. Wyatt
Author: R. Sedgwick
Author: H. Simcox
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_806, Representation ID: 261, Object ID: 2123; Summary document can be found at
It has been recognised for many years that the physical habitat of rivers has a strong influence on the spatial occurrence of fish communities and upon the abundance and age-structure of species populations, notwithstanding the influences of water chemistry and climatic variation. Scientists’ understanding of these relationships has advanced considerably in recent years for some salmonid species, and a number of tools now exist for assessing and quantifying the quality of juvenile salmonid habitat. In contrast, scientists’ understanding of the relationships between coarse fish and habitat remains poor. Even the basic biology of common coarse fish species is not well understood compared with that of species such as the brown trout. The overall objective of this project was, therefore, to model the relationship between coarse fish populations and broad habitat features, in order to develop a River Fish Habitat Inventory (RFHI) that will allow habitat quality to be classified in terms of map-based and field-based features. To test the models, spatial patterns in population parameters for roach, chub and dace were investigated using the Suffolk Stour fisheries survey dataset. The models were able to elicit marked differences in the parameters between different sub-catchments in the Stour, providing an indication of varying impacts on the fish populations arising from water quality and flow, and habitat modification. This modelling approach can be used to describe the age-structure of fish populations, which will be required under the WFD as part of the assessment of the ecological status for fish. The approach could also be used to assist in the diagnosis and remediation of pressures on the fish community, which will be required as part of the WFD’s programmes of measures and as part of the Environment Agency’s statutory duties to maintain, improve and develop fisheries.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: RiversRiver fisheriesCoarse fishesHabitatsData collectionWater quality
Geographic Keywords: England
Extent: 77
Total file downloads: 276

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