Fish Atlas Maps of New York
Fish distribution map are a valuable and necessary part of conservation and management work, and yet the only ones for New York's inland fishes, from 1985, are becoming more outdated. Maps, which are brought up-to-date, allow workers to better complete field assessments and to identify range extensions and species extirpations. They are also useful to anglers and anyone else with these interests. We have developed maps for this purpose, and they accompany the other most recent watershed inventories with species lists, from 2004.
The species distribution maps provided on the following pages are meant to stand alone. Our goal in generating the 182 maps was to provide information on the current distribution of each species of inland fish by recording each documented collection as a point on the map. However, fish ranges are dynamic and, for many species, rarely hold constant over long periods of time. Extirpations of small populations, range expansions and contractions due to habitat modification, introductions, and invasions all force changes in our understanding of the range of any particular species. To provide a feel for change, the points are coded on all maps: circle if the capture date is before 1977 (early or pre 1977) and a dot if captured after 1977 or later. This should allow any reader the ability to assess gross changes in range over time. The text accompanying each map summarizes the habitat, native range and their status. The 18 watersheds of NY are shown below (Figure 1) and are the basis for comments about their gains or losses of distributional range.
Documentation for the points on the maps is scattered among state agency records, museum catalog records, university collection records, gray literature (including government and private reports, master's theses and doctoral dissertations) and published accounts. There will be a companion document with further details on the distribution (Carlson and Daniels in preparation), and the annotations therein include specific records of important changes in distribution for each species by watershed.
Watersheds of New York used by NYSDEC and this map series.
Most of the fish art work comes from the old biological surveys of New York State conducted from 1926 to 1939 by the Conservation Department (the predecessor to today's New York State Department of Environmental Conservation), as painted by Ellen Edmonson and Hugh Chrisp. Their initials are on their drawings. Art work is done by other artists is credited under the images.