Event Title

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

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Faculty Advisor

Dr. Dan Ressler

Start Date

April 2021

End Date

April 2021

Description

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, 26 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. We saw a general increase in fish populations after the implementation of in-stream BMPs (log vanes and mud sills), although this increase was temporary. 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.

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Apr 27th, 12:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:00 AM

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

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, 26 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. We saw a general increase in fish populations after the implementation of in-stream BMPs (log vanes and mud sills), although this increase was temporary. 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.