Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Uses Stream Fish As Indicators Of Water Quality

Date:
November 1, 2005
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
For many years, regulatory agencies have used chemical standards to assess water quality. Now, researchers are discovering how biological criteria can complement chemical standards to assess the status of water bodies, including streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a new partnership with Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources to improve the way the Clean Water Act is implemented in Virginia.

The stated purpose of the Clean Water Act is "to protect the biological integrity of the Nation's waters," said Nathaniel "Than" Hitt, a doctoral student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. "However, the law does not define what biological integrity is. That's our task."

For many years, regulatory agencies have used chemical standards to assess water quality. Now, researchers are discovering how biological criteria can complement chemical standards to assess the status of water bodies, including streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

"Our study uses stream fish as indicators of environmental quality. Stream fish are excellent indicators because different species respond to pollution in different ways. As a result, we can assess the quality of a stream based on the diversity and abundance of fishes we find there," said Hitt, who is working with associate professor of fisheries Paul Angermeier.

"Fishes are sensitive to forms of pollution that chemical tests may miss," Hitt pointed out. EPA's Office of Water has recognized this dynamic and recently provided support for Angermeier and Hitt to conduct an initial fish biomonitoring project for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ). Their study will use VDEQ's current stream biomonitoring sites within watersheds of the New and James rivers. Currently, the VDEQ uses stream insects and vegetation to assess stream quality but does not consider stream fishes except for consumption advisories due to toxins in fish flesh.

Hitt and Angermeier will investigate how fish movement from adjoining streams influences the ability of natural resources managers to detect fish responses to pollution. "Many stream fish move surprisingly long distances in streams. We need to understand these movement patterns in order to understand how fishes observed in one area indicate environmental quality in the surrounding region," said Hitt. The researchers will use spatial analysis techniques to explore different scenarios of fish movement.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Study Uses Stream Fish As Indicators Of Water Quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051101081502.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2005, November 1). Study Uses Stream Fish As Indicators Of Water Quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051101081502.htm
Virginia Tech. "Study Uses Stream Fish As Indicators Of Water Quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051101081502.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins