Skip to main content

Associations between Coldwater Fish Communities and Environmental Factors in Iowa’s Driftless Area

My project is about assessing stream health in Northeast Iowa based on fish assemblage, and deriving correlations with stream health and habitat. In order to assess stream health in Northeast Iowa using fish assemblage, we use what is called a fish-index of biotic integrity (FIBI). This index determines how healthy a stream is based on what kinds of fishes are sampled in the stream and how tolerant those fish are to different kinds of pollution. FIBIs assign streams scores from 0-120, 0 being poor quality and 120 being high quality sites. These indices are used throughout the state to assess stream health on Iowa’s warmwater streams. In Northeast Iowa, due to cold stream temperatures, a different FIBI needs to be used due to differences in fish assemblage dynamics in warm versus coldwater streams. We found that tree canopy cover, stream temperature, and vegetated streambanks were all important factors for high FIBI scores.

Grinstead poster














Duration: 05/13/2020

Principal Investigator(s): Michael Weber, Brett Kelly