Fish Communities at Homestead National Monument of America

Cub Creek at Homestead National Monument of America
Cub Creek at Homestead National Monument of America.

NPS-Photo

Land use surrounding Homestead National Monument affects the water quality of Cub Creek. Many fish are sensitive to poor habitat and water quality conditions and serve as indicators of stream health. Over time, land use changes have affected fish populations. Dams, urban development, and farming practices are examples of such land use changes. As a result of habitat and water quality degradation, many Midwestern fish species are at risk of population declines.

Since 2004, scientists have been tracking fish populations in Cub Creek. They collect fish using seine nets at different areas along the streams. Tracking fish allows scientists to determine which species are in the park and how well they doing in the streams. Fish data is then related back to stream habitat and water quality conditions.
Homestead National Monument of America Fish Species Graph
Homestead National Monument of America Fish Species Graph.

NPS

Twenty fish species have been caught in the park. The greatest number of species caught was in 2015, with three new species. High flows and flooding that occurred in early spring may explain the greater number of species observed. Stream integrity was rated fair for all years. The population was made up of a few common species. Red Shiner, Sand Shiner, Fathead Minnow, and Channel Catfish were the common fish found. Many species in the stream were tolerant to poor water quality and were generalist feeders. Scientists continue to monitor Cub Creek, as well as work with surrounding land owners, to help increase water quality and provide better habitat for fish communities in the park.
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Data in this report were collected and analyzed using methods based on established, peer-reviewed protocols and were analyzed and interpreted within the guidelines of the protocols.

Last updated: March 16, 2018