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Aquatic Diversity

Fishing is an important component of historic and modern Cherokee culture from both a subsistence and recreational perspective.  Although southeastern watersheds contain the richest diversity of fish in temperate North America, the aquatic systems in this region are highly imperiled. By collecting data on fish communities, we can gauge the health of streams. Currently, streams on EBCI lands face many threats including bank erosion, siltation, pollution, habitat modification, acid deposition, climate change, and invasive species.  Additionally, barriers to aquatic species dispersal such as perched culverts and dams produce fragmented populations and are of particular concern.

Management actions include:

  • Fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) Surveys
  • Redhorse community monitoring
  • Fish and mussel research and restoration
  • Native and invasive species inventories