John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Forecasting fish biomasses, densities, productions, and bioaccumulation potentials of Mid‐Atlantic wadeable streams

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Regional fishery conditions of Mid‐Atlantic wadeable streams in the eastern United States are estimated using the BASS bioaccumulation and fish community model and data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP). Average annual biomasses and population densities and annual productions are estimated for 352 randomly selected streams. Realized bioaccumulation factors (BAF) and biomagnification factors (BMF), which are dependent on these forecasted biomasses, population densities and productions, are also estimated by assuming constant water exposures to methylmercury and tetra‐, penta‐, hexa‐, and hepta‐chlorinated biphenyls. Using observed biomasses and densities and estimated annual productions of total fish from three regions assumed to support healthy fisheries as benchmarks (eastern Tennessee and Catskill Mountain trout streams and Ozark Mountains smallmouth bass streams), 58% of the region's wadeable streams are estimated to be in marginal or poor condition (i.e., not healthy). Using simulated BAFs and EMAP mercury fish concentrations, we also estimate that approximately 24% of the game fish and subsistence fishing species which are found in streams having detectable mercury concentrations would exceed an acceptable human consumption criterion of 0.185 µg/g wet wt. Importantly, such streams have been estimated to represent 78.2 to 84.4% of the Mid‐Atlantic's wadeable stream lengths. Our results demonstrate how a dynamic simulation model can support regional assessment and trends analysis for fisheries. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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