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New fish and nvertebrate surveys begin at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region, February 20, 2015
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A Great Egret feeds on a sunfish at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  The upcoming aquatic surveys by Frostburg State University will help assess forage availability for waterbirds, and other piscivore bird species (i.e., bald eagle and osprey).
A Great Egret feeds on a sunfish at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The upcoming aquatic surveys by Frostburg State University will help assess forage availability for waterbirds, and other piscivore bird species (i.e., bald eagle and osprey). - Photo Credit: Friends of Great Swamp NWR

This spring marks the beginning of the field season for a 1-year investigation on the fish and invertebrate species inhabiting the five wetland impoundments and major drainages of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The project was funded by the Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, with Principal Investigators Dr. Richard Raesly and Dr. Jerod Studinski of Frostburg State University leading the effort.

According to the Refuge’s 15-year Comprehensive Conservation Plan, over a five-year period, the Refuge will evaluate each impoundment’s ecological contribution to waterfowl and other priority species. This study represents one component of a larger effort to obtain current information on the biota found within and surrounding the Refuge’s impoundments, which includes waterfowl surveys during the spring and fall migration periods, waterfowl predation studies during the breeding season, and an evaluation of the refuge’s long running wood duck nest box program. Findings from the aquatic surveys will provide updated information on the status and species of fish and macro-invertebrates found in all Refuge waters, potentially including rare, threatened, or endangered species. Frostburg State University researchers also will determine the extent that carp have invaded the impoundments, as carp at high densities can severely inhibit the growth of aquatic plants and also alter habitat use by waterfowl. Sampling will begin in March and continue through the summer, with the final report completed by next December.


Contact Info: Steve Henry, 561-735-6021, steven_s_henry@fws.gov
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