At more than 9,000 square miles, the Cape Fear River basin is one of the largest watersheds in North Carolina. Throughout parts of the watershed, habitat-related problems threaten fish including American shad, striped bass, river herring, and endangered Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon.
In some areas, dams and other fish passage obstacles prevent fish from migrating upstream to spawn. Planning is underway for a number of projects to help restore fish habitat the in Cape Fear River Watershed.
Spearheading restoration work is the Cape Fear River Partnership, a group of federal, state, local, academic, and other organizations. A multi-year action plan is under development.
The action plan will
* Identify threats to healthy migratory fish populations.
* Outline actions to improve water quality, habitat conditions, and fish passage.
* Determine community and economic benefits of improved migratory fish populations.
The partnership hopes to develop the Cape Fear River plan by the end of 2012, with implementation to follow.
source: NOAA FishNews