Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel McGarvey

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen McIninch

Third Advisor

Dr. Edward Crawford


Quarterly samples were used to estimate assemblage-level (all species combined) fish production within three minimally-impacted, southern West Virginia streams. The total annual fish production estimate was highest in Slaunch Fork (37.52 kg∙ha-1∙y-1), a tributary of the Tug Fork River, and lowest in Cabin Creek (10.59 kg∙ha-1∙y-1), a Guyandotte River tributary. Creek Chub Semotilus atromaculatus, Mottled Sculpin Cottus bairdii and Blacknose Dace Rhinicthys atratulus were the most abundant species among sites, accounting for >90% of all sampled individuals. Reference condition criteria were also selected and metrics calculated for each of the three stream sites using a variety of established metrics. According to established criteria, all three of our sites scored high enough to be listed as “reference” sites. Third, a comprehensive GIS analysis was conducted in order to determine land use patterns and predict where similar assemblages would be present using various climatological and physical characteristics of our stream sites. These analyses revealed rapid expansion of surface mining activities putting many stream systems at risk.


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