Are BMPs Effective? Evaluating Best Management Practices by Tracking Fish Population Response

Kaitlyn Gardineer* Jon Niles, Matt Wilson, and Dan Ressler, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove PA, 17870.

Best Management Practices (BMP’s) are techniques that can be implemented on farms, pastures, and streambanks to decrease the sediment and agricultural chemical pollution that enters waterways. While we know BMPs are generally effective, we would like to know which techniques are most effective for increasing fish populations in agriculture-impaired streams. In our analysis, 36 reference or active stream restoration sites were selected from Centre, Union, Northumberland, and Montour Counties in Central Pennsylvania. BMPs along a 100-m reach were mapped to catalog the type and abundance of techniques implemented or their natural counterparts.  Fish populations were determined by electrofishing and identifying the species of each captured fish. The data was used in multivariate statistics and redundancy analysis (RDA) in the vegan R package to determine trends in fish assemblage response to BMPs abundance. Based on preliminary findings, we expect to see a general increase in fish populations after the implementation of in-stream BMPs (log vanes and mud sills), especially where there is sand and gravel spawning fish, and fish that feed on stream insects (which require high porosity sediments). By the end of our research, along with showing the effectiveness of the implemented BMPs, we hope to come up with a more standardized way to collect and format BMP impacts.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Kaitlyn Gardineer

Institution: Susquehanna University

Type: Poster

Subject: Environmental Science & Sustainability

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4668