Alabama Ecological Services Field Office
Southeast Region


Select a State to Find a Refuge, Hatchery or USFWS Office


Map of the Southeast Region Map of Kentucky Map of the Caribbean and Navassa Map of North Carolina Map of Tennessee Map of South Carolina Map of Arkansas Map of Louisiana Map of Mississippi Map of Alabama Map of Georgia Map of Florida

Strategic Habitat Units

SHU's in the News

Murder Creek SHU: Tiny fish: Castleberry's Jordan Creek is full of native treasure         Big Canoe Creek SHU: Creek-wading biologists survey fish near Ashville, Springville  :  Alabama landowners partner to keep water unpolluted


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Geological Survey of Alabama have selected watersheds and river segments in the five HUC-4 subregions in Alabama to focus conservation activities for managing, protecting, restoring, and recovering populations of rare fishes, mussels, snails, and crayfishes. These Strategic Habitat Units (SHUs) and Strategic River Reach Units (SRRUs) include a substantial part of Alabama’s remaining high-quality rivers and streams and reflect the variety of small stream to large river habitats occupied by these species historically and/or currently.

The SHUs were selected based on best available information about the essential habitat components required by these aquatic species including: (1) geomorphically stable stream and river channels; (2) stream flow regimes that support normal behavior, growth, and survival of the animals; (3) acceptable water-quality conditions necessary for normal behavior, growth, and viability of all life stages of the animals; (4) a diversity of channel substrate types, with minimal amounts of fine sediment and filamentous algae; (5) for mussels, the presence of fish hosts with adequate living, foraging, and spawning areas; and (6) few or no competitive or predaceous nonnative species. The SRRUs were selected based on the historical and/or current presence of rare species and include river reaches where species restoration and recovery actions are planned for the future or are already underway.

The purpose of designating SHUs and SRRUs is to facilitate and coordinate watershed management and restoration efforts as well as to focus funding to address habitat and water quality issues. All of the SHUs currently support one or multiple federally listed species and/or critical habitat designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Big Canoe Creek Index Of Biotic Integrity Sampling


Clean water for our future - key to a prosperous Alabama

The SHU logo represents the collective efforts of watershed stakeholders to investigate, manage, and develop our water resources in a comprehensive way to minimize thier degradation, maximize thier availablity for all users, and restore and recover aquatic habitats and species.

Watershed Links and Info.

North River Watershed

Economic Benefits Of Protecting Watersheds



Last updated: August 23, 2017