Event Title

Conserving Freshwater Biota in Highly Managed Freshwater Ecosystems: The Challenge of Knowing What We Have, What We've Lost, and How to Restore Valued Aquatic Resources

Presenter Information

Charles P. Hawkins
Mark Vinson

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/htm/conference/past-spring-runoff-conferences

Start Date

27-3-2006 8:30 AM

End Date

27-3-2006 8:45 AM

Description

Freshwater ecosystems are perhaps the most threatened ecosystems on earth; and the geomorphic, hydrologic, chemical, and biological alterations in streams and rivers of the Great Salt Lake Basin (GSLB) typify the alterations that have occurred throughout the western United States and the world as a whole. Managing these systems to conserve what is left and restore aquatic resources to acceptable levels requires knowledge of the ecological status of existing ecosystems, what has been lost, and what needs to be fixed. Quantify the status of freshwater ecosystems as a whole requires that we look beyond the few species of charismatic game fish of interest to the fishing public and pay equal attention to the little species on which fish, and other ecosystem products, depend. Understanding what has been lost requires that we reconstruct the past because historical data exist for only a very small number of streams and lakes. Such reconstructions are technically challenging, especially when they are needed for large regions like the GSLB and will depend on the successful development of models that relate biological potential to historic geomorphic and hydrologic setting. Restoring biologically degraded systems to some level of acceptable biological condition requires that we know what to fix; a key element often lacking in many past and ongoing restoration efforts.

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Mar 27th, 8:30 AM Mar 27th, 8:45 AM

Conserving Freshwater Biota in Highly Managed Freshwater Ecosystems: The Challenge of Knowing What We Have, What We've Lost, and How to Restore Valued Aquatic Resources

Eccles Conference Center

Freshwater ecosystems are perhaps the most threatened ecosystems on earth; and the geomorphic, hydrologic, chemical, and biological alterations in streams and rivers of the Great Salt Lake Basin (GSLB) typify the alterations that have occurred throughout the western United States and the world as a whole. Managing these systems to conserve what is left and restore aquatic resources to acceptable levels requires knowledge of the ecological status of existing ecosystems, what has been lost, and what needs to be fixed. Quantify the status of freshwater ecosystems as a whole requires that we look beyond the few species of charismatic game fish of interest to the fishing public and pay equal attention to the little species on which fish, and other ecosystem products, depend. Understanding what has been lost requires that we reconstruct the past because historical data exist for only a very small number of streams and lakes. Such reconstructions are technically challenging, especially when they are needed for large regions like the GSLB and will depend on the successful development of models that relate biological potential to historic geomorphic and hydrologic setting. Restoring biologically degraded systems to some level of acceptable biological condition requires that we know what to fix; a key element often lacking in many past and ongoing restoration efforts.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2006/AllAbstracts/20