FY15 Fisheries Program Accomplishments Summary

Greetings!

As a result of our sustained commitment and many strong relationships, we realized significant achievements toward the restoration of aquatic ecosystems, nationwide, in fiscal year 2015. Our work includes restoring aquatic organism passage, stream habitat, and floodplains; enhancing lake productivity; and connecting people to the outdoors.

Our work together benefits the Nation’s fisheries and aquatic resources beyond the boundaries of the national forests and grasslands, and it improves our quality of life, creates jobs, and strengthens our communities. This success is possible only through the strong relationships with our State, Federal, and tribal partners, nongovernmental organizations, and private landowners. We are in a period of significant ecological and socioeconomic change, our landscapes are subjected to a confluence of stressors, including larger and more frequent wildfires, outbreaks of insects and disease, invasive species, and drought—all of which are intensified by a changing climate and the many historical mining, industrial timber, and grazing impacts to our watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. Meanwhile, demand is growing for the many aquatic resources and services provided by the watersheds that comprise the Nation’s national forests and grasslands. Restoring the ecological health and function of these vital watersheds is critical to delivering water supplies, sustaining biodiversity, and supporting thriving communities. Our continued success depends upon the strength of these relationships and collaboration, and I implore all of us to rise to these challenges and opportunities.

Robert Harper
Director of Watershed, Fish,
Wildlife, Air and Rare Plants Staff

This Year's Theme

Aquatic Connectivity: Its Fundamental Importance to the Forest Service Mission

Aquatic connectivity refers to the connectedness of fish and other aquatic organisms and their habitat. The ability of fish, crayfish, mollusks, and other aquatic animals to physically move between habitats is vital to their survival. One of the greatest human impacts to aquatic connectivity has been the creation of barriers to aquatic movement. Society’s vast network of roads, dams, water diversions, as well as changes to water temperature, water quality, and habitat all greatly reduce aquatic connectivity. Restoring connectivity is often the first order of business in restoring aquatic ecosystems.

Outstanding Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for the Public Good

The Fisheries Program within the context of the Forest Service Strategic Plan FY 2015-2020

Goal 1 - Sustain our National Forests and Grasslands through protection and restoration of healthy watersheds, aquatic habitat, and both native biodiversity and important recreational fish species.

Goal 2 - Deliver Benefits to the Public through maintaining high quality aquatic habitat, leading ecosystem restoration efforts, managing habitat and activities on-the-ground, ensuring recreational access and educating the public.

Goal 3 - Apply Knowledge Globally through working with multiple partners and on private lands via the Wyden Amendment authority.

Video: Watch a special video message from Chief Tidwell and download the complete Strategic Plan along with a poster featuring the four outcome-oriented goals. http://www.fs.fed.us/strategicplan 

Priorities

  • Conduct monitoring, assessment and inventory of important aquatic populations and habitat in collaboration with states, federal agencies, and Tribes.
  • Work with States, Tribes, federal agencies, communities and many other partners to restore species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act, native species, and aquatic habitat.
  • Provide access to outstanding recreational fishing and outdoor experiences to the public.
  • Connect people to the outdoors, including supporting youth fishing days and aquatic experiences.
  • Detect and rapidly respond to invasive species impacting aquatic resources.

Aquatic Resources

An infographic that shows the number of national forests

An infographic that shows the number of wild and scenic rivers