The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] (Coastal and Oceanic Climate Applications Program) has awarded a grant to the Research Foundation for SUNY on behalf of SUNY Oneonta in the amount of $205,438 in support of the project entitled “Understanding Climate Impacts on American Shad Recovery, Fisheries Management, and Influences of Dams” under the direction of Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Daniel Stich of the Biology Department. A brief description of the project follows.
This project will evaluate the influences of multiple factors on the recovery and productivity potential of several American shad stocks in the Northeast U.S. through the integration of climate uncertainty into existing decision support tools (created by Dr. Stich and collaborators) that are being used in fishway prescriptions at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulated hydropower dams. Climate uncertainty will be incorporated by: i) hindcasting historical impacts of ocean temperatures on American shad growth to establish climate-informed reference points; ii) integrating temperature projections from multiple climate models into American shad models to improve resilience of management decisions related to fishery harvest and dam passage; and iii) assessing sensitivity of model projections to climate change in concert with fishery harvest, dam passage performance standards, and uncertainty in life history and ecology of this species. Additionally, the work will extend models developed in the Penobscot and Connecticut rivers to include the Merrimack and Susquehanna rivers. In addition to PI Stich, the project includes co-PIs at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center.