Destructive Human Activities to the Aquatic Environment

A photograph of a human built check dam on Abrams Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
A photograph of human built check dams along Abrams Creek within Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo courtesy of Conservation Fisheries Incorporated.


Unfortunately, You're Correct!

Building check dams is the most destructive of the human activities listed here. Aquatic insects are gill breathers that dwell under rocks. When you move rocks to build a check dam, you kill the insects which are the major food source for the fish. Also, moving rocks in the stream disturbs fish nesting areas, blocks fish passageways, and moves rocks that fish use to hide from prey. Fish such as darters and some dace species only live in riffle areas which are the areas people typically alter the most. Finally, most of the threatened and endangered fish which live in the park will abandon their nests and their offspring will die if they are disturbed in any way. So, please refrain from channeling the stream and moving rocks so that we can all do our part to protect and preserve our native fish species.

Click here to continue on to Question 22.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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