USGS - science for a changing world

Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center


Long-Term Fish Monitoring in Large Rivers: Utility of “Benchmarking” across Basins

Ward, D.L., A. F. Casper, T. D. Counihan, J. M. Bayer, I. R. Waite, J. J. Kosovich, C. G. Chapman, E. R. Irwin, J. S. Sauer, B. S. Ickes, and A. J. McKerrow.  2017.  Long-Term Fish Monitoring in Large Rivers: Utility of “Benchmarking” across Basins.  Fisheries  Vol. 42 , Iss. 2. DOI: 10.1080/03632415.2017.1276330


In business, benchmarking is a widely used practice of comparing your own business processes to those of other comparable companies and incorporating identified best practices to improve performance. Biologists and resource managers designing and conducting monitoring programs for fish in large river systems tend to focus on single river basins or segments of large rivers, missing opportunities to learn from those conducting fish monitoring in other rivers. We briefly examine five long-term fish monitoring programs in large rivers in the United States (Colorado, Columbia, Mississippi, Illinois, and Tallapoosa rivers) and identify opportunities for learning across programs by detailing best monitoring practices and why these practices were chosen. Although monitoring objectives, methods, and program maturity differ between each river system, examples from these five case studies illustrate the important role that long-term monitoring programs play in interpreting temporal and spatial shifts in fish populations for both established objectives and newly emerging questions. We suggest that deliberate efforts to develop a broader collaborative network through benchmarking will facilitate sharing of ideas and development of more effective monitoring programs.


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Contacting the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Page Last Modified: January 27, 2017