Congressional Briefing Features USGS Climate Research

Congressional Briefing Features USGS Climate Research

Speakers for the Climate Change and Inland Fish briefing included Len Hunt, Abigail Lynch, James Whitney, and Criag Paukert.

Speakers for the Climate Change and Inland Fish briefing included Len Hunt, Abigail Lynch, James Whitney, and Criag Paukert.

AFS organized a special briefing on June 13, 2016, for congressional staff and others interested in research on “Climate Change and Inland Fish,” a priority of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. About 35 attendees heard presentations by four panelists, introduced by Doug Beard (director of the USGS program):

Len Hunt, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – need to consider the human dimensions of climate change, with a focus on how climate change can affect recreational fishers.

Craig Paukert, USGS and the Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit –monitoring for ecological resilience can proceed at the state level using existing tools to develop adaptation strategies.

James Whitney, Pittsburg State University (Kansas) – extended conversation to the organism level by focusing on physiological responses to shifting environmental conditions.

Abigail Lynch, USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center – summarized a review of published literature on climate change effects on inland fish populations and assemblages.

The panel discussion at the well-attended briefing on climate change and inland fish.

The panel discussion at the well-attended briefing on climate change and inland fish.

The panelists offered compelling evidence that climate change is significantly affecting North American inland fish populations. Shifting abundance, growth, and migration are most pronounced in cold-water systems but do occur in warmer waters. Those effects often couple with other human-related factors to increase impacts yet complicate efforts to determine the precise effects of climate change.

Work by these scientists and others will be featured in July 2016 issue of the AFS Fisheries magazine. That issue will be available for open-access download for one month starting about June 30 at www.fisheries.org.

See more photos from the briefing, read a preview of the issue's abstracts, and learn more about USGS research on climate change and inland fish.