Fisheries Data Description
Restoration Planning: This database can be used to monitor the long-term results of restoration projects, and can also be used to identify streams where restoration could be of most benefit to the fishery.
Data Description: The Montana Fisheries Information System (MFISH) (formerly the Montana Rivers Information System (MRIS) is a database containing information on fish species distribution, supporting data for distribution, and stream information. (the description below for the new MFISH database was provided by Janet Decker-Hess)
"Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has been working on centralizing
the fisheries data on lakes and reservoirs for the last several years.
They started with an old database and collecting new and existing information
from FWP, USFS, BLM and USFWS to include and have also linked other existing
data sets to the system. As a result, over 5,000 lakes have been added to
our "rivers" system, hence the name change.
An illustrated on-line guide to using MFISH is available here as a Microsoft Word document. (The on-line guide and this description of the MRIS project was developed by Jennifer Corbin of MFWP). The guide illustrates the use of MFISH by using the upper Clark Fork River as a case study. It includes maps of
Data sets supporting fish distribution include population trend data (population levels in sampled reaches over time), spawning survey data, genetics testing results, fish passage barriers and spawning and adult habitat locations. Other stream level data include angling use, fisheries resource classification, protected designation, instream flow reservations, stream channel conditions, restoration projects and other data for over 4,500 streams and rivers in the State of Montana. The database is managed and maintained by the Information Services Unit (ISU) of the Fisheries Division of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and is annually updated through interviews with MFWP, US Forest Service (USFS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and tribal fisheries biologists and supplemented with information provided in technical documents and reports.
The purpose of MFISH
is to provide Montana fisheries information online in a database that can be
queried. Streams or lakes of interest can be
mapped for viewing and some data sets can be downloaded for use in other
analytical applications or for more detailed analysis.
The database is actively maintained
and continues to be refined and expanded with new datasets as well as updates to
existing information. Some
information highlights one-time assessments, and other information encompasses
distribution is updated annually along with population estimates and sampling
information. Genetic samples are
updated several times a year, as the analyses are received from the University
of Montana Wild Trout and Salmon Genetics Laboratory.
However, not all field data are entered into the database, and some data
sets are restricted to internal access only or distributed upon request
(spawning grounds, for example).
The location of sample sites/areas assessed varies; there are many sites throughout the basin. All data have a beginning and ending measure which are marked by the number of stream miles from the mouth. In addition to stream miles, township location and latitude/longitude (decimal degrees) are also given. All locations are checked manually with a GIS at the time of data entry.
duration and frequency of sampling varies from project to project. Database updated
following types of observations are based on reproducible measurements:
are generally suitable for guiding management; documentation is insufficient to
Restoration Planning: Might be used in a drought management program to reduce the impacts of drought on fisheries. Development of such a program could be one goal of restoration planning.
Data Description: Provides summaries of FWP fisheries biologists reports on status and trends in flows, temperature and fisheries.
Location of sample
sites/areas assessed: Deer
Lodge USGS station.
Nature of location
information: Based on data
at existing USGS station.
Reports are filed weekly
measured & methods used:
Biologist notes status and trends in
flow, water temperature and likely fisheries condition; fish kills are noted;
comments on impacts to access are included.
Quality of data: Visual
assessments of professional fisheries biologists.
contact info: For the Upper Clark Fork, Wayne Hadley, fisheries biologist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Recommendations for making the info more useful: expand to more sites