Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Global Inland Fisheries


  • 1) Synthesize how climate change may affect inland fisheries.
    2) Identify the key data and knowledge gaps related to how climate change will affect inland fisheries.
    3) Identify climate change drivers for inland fisheries.

Aquatic biota is particularly vulnerable to climate change and its associated effects, but these effects, both distributional and physiological, will differ by species and region.  Approximately 50 percent of available cold and cool water fish habitats are expected to disappear with projected doubling of atmospheric CO2, while warm water fish habitat is expected increase by 31 percent. Inland fish species, and their associated fisheries, are especially vulnerable to climate changes, both distributional and physiological, because they have limited habitat availability and a more direct link with terrestrial systems, land use patterns, and water use than marine systems.  Climate change impacts on these inland systems may be magnified as a result of climate impacts to terrestrial systems and human interventions.  To date, little research has investigated climate change effects on inland fisheries at a global scale.  Therefore, we will coordinate a workshop in 2015 composed of inland fisheries experts from around the world to provide input on how climate change will affect inland fisheries.  Invitations to the workshop will be based on demonstrated experience with research and activities related to climate change and inland fisheries.  To lead this workshop and manage the related scientific synthesis, we will first select a post-doctoral researcher (post doc) and several (~5) key participants.  This “core working group” will identify broad objectives and select the remainder of the team for the larger workshop.  This core working group will help develop the workshop and take the lead at writing up the results for publication, which is slated to appear in a special climate change issue of Fisheries


  • Investigator: Dr. James Whitney, Post-Doctoral Research Associate
  • Project Supervisors: Dr. Craig Paukert
  • Funding: US Geological Survey, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
  • Collaborators:
    Dr. Abigail Lynch, USGS
    Dr. Dan Isaak, US Forest Service
    Dr. Steve Cooke, Carlton Univ.
    Dr. Bill Taylor, Michigan St. Univ.
    Dr. Bo Bunnell, USGS
  • Location: Global
  • Expected Date of Completion: December 2016