Restoring Brook Trout to North Carolina's National Forests
A geographic information system (GIS) is the primary analysis tool used to derive, interpret, and display relevant data. In the Fires Creek Watershed, migration barriers are identified and characterized to delineate potential brook trout reintroduction sites. The watershed is also assessed as a target for brook trout restoration according to five criteria. These are the historical presence of brook trout, the current distribution of trout in the basin, the genetic identity of potential donor populations, site accessibility, and current and future habitat suitability. Barrier data are also used to develop a classification and regression tree (CART) model to predict barrier locations.
Results show that numerous opportunities exist to restore brook trout to the Fires Creek Watershed. The most effective restoration strategy combines the availability of protected habitat, as delineated by migration barriers, with information extracted from the comprehensive assessment. The model provides the framework for a tool that improves the efficiency of completing restoration projects, but results suggest that higher resolution data is necessary to increase prediction success. Overall, this work contributes to the development and implementation of brook trout restoration projects in North Carolina’s National Forests.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:restoration brook trout gis cart
Date of Publication:04/22/2008