Habitat and fish community changes in Champaign County, IL over the past 100 years

Josh Sherwood, Jeffrey A. Stein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


With data spanning over 100 years, the Fishes of Champaign County is a comprehensive, long-term investigation into the changing fish communities of east-central Illinois. The same 120 sites across the county have been sampled four times since 1928, which are compiled with data from an additional 40 sites sampled in the 1890's. Data from the surveys have produced a unique perspective into not only the fish communities of the region but changesto instream habitat. After a period of degradation, fish communities appear to be improving throughout the county, demonstrated by the return of two state-threatened species that had not been recorded since 1928. Our analysis of in-stream habitat indicates a general trend away from small streams of various substrate types towards wider, deeper streams with a more uniform substrate. Fish community data support the results, indicating a shift from typical headwater species to species that frequent streams with more stable flows and deeper streams. Long-term surveys such as this are rare and the data and analyses of these surveys can provide managers with valuable information to further restoration efforts using a historical prospective.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, July 12-16, 2017 Austin, Texas
StatePublished - 2017


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