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Accession Number PB2013-110851
Title Cape Fear River Basin Action Plan for Migratory Fish.
Publication Date Apr 2013
Media Count 81p
Personal Author N/A
Abstract The Cape Fear River once supported thriving migratory fish populations including American shad, sturgeon, river herring, American eel, and striped bass. In fact, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Cape Fear River was one of the most productive rivers for American shad in North Carolina. Migratory fish populations within the Cape Fear River basin have declined substantially over the past two centuries, with current commercial landings 87 percent lower than historic estimates. State and federal agencies have limited or banned the direct harvest of many of these species to protect the diminished populations, establishing harvest moratoriums for shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon, river herring and striped bass. Harvest reductions and restrictions are in place for American shad and American eel. These protections alone are not enough to sustain and increase the stocks of migratory fish in the Cape Fear River. Unfortunately, the river's migratory fish suffer from numerous threats that impact their numbers. There are now more than 1,100 dams in the basin, including those built to produce hydroelectric power and store drinking water, which block fish from returning to their historic spawning areas and thereby limit their abundance. Land clearing for development, industry, forestry, and agriculture can reduce riparian buffers (trees and vegetation along riverbanks) that serve to filter out excess nutrients and other pollutants from entering the river. Engineered water withdrawals, reservoirs, and inter-basin water transfers (where water is moved from one river basin to another for human use) alter the amount of water in the riveran essential aspect of migratory fish habitat health.
Keywords Cape Fear River Basin
Environmental management
Fish management
Fish passages
Fish populations
Migratory fish
River basins

Source Agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NTIS Subject Category 98F - Fisheries & Aquaculture
47D - Biological Oceanography
97R - Environmental Studies
48B - Natural Resource Management
Corporate Author National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1325
Contract Number N/A

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