Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Management
Habitat is fundamental for self-sustaining populations of fish and wildlife. Loss and alteration of aquatic habitats are principal factors in the decline of native fish and aquatic biodiversity. The Southwest Region Fisheries Program works with partners to conserve fish and wildlife by protecting and restoring the habitats on which they depend.
To achieve results in aquatic habitat conservation and management there must be a close partnership between landowners and the Fisheries Program. Nearly 70% of all fish and wildlife habitat in the United States is in private ownership, so partnerships must include private landowners. The Fisheries Program has begun to make a difference in aquatic habitat conservation and management through its National Fish Passage Program, through cooperative efforts with other Service programs such as Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and through creative partnerships with states, tribes, other federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
Nevertheless, degradation of aquatic habitat is the most pressing challenge facing fisheries and aquatic resources in the United States today, requiring concerted effort and focus to reverse declines in habitat and associated species.
About the Photo:
Gila Trout Return to Arizona
Gila trout are swimming in two new streams in Arizona thanks to the efforts of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona FWCO, Mora NFHTC, U.S. Forest Service, and volunteers from Trout Unlimited. In November 2009, 500 Gila trout were stocked into Frye Creek on the Coronado National Forest and 250 were stocked into Grapevine Creek on the Prescott National Forest. The fish were grown and transported by staff from the Mora NFHTC. The Frye Creek project was phase one of a three phase project to establish three populations of Gila trout on Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona. Phases two and three will be funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.