Frank Jernejcic

Improvements in the Fish Populations Due to Reduced Acid Mine Drainage

Over a century of coal mining in the Cheat River watershed in northern West Virginia resulted in abandoned coal mines that have generated massive amounts of acid mine drainage (AMD) and depressed or eliminated fish populations in Cheat River and Cheat Lake. However, approximately 185 land reclamation and water treatment projects have been completed since 1994 in order to reduce AMD in the Cheat watershed and restore fish populations. A rotary drum neutralization station was constructed on Blackwater River in the upper Cheat watershed in 1994. This restored 6.5-km of trout water on the...

Year
2007

Improvements in Fish Populations of the Monongahela River, West Virginia, after Reduction of Acid Mine Drainage

Historically, degradation of water quality from mining activity in the Monongahela River Basin adversely affected fish populations in the mainstem river. Improvement of water quality since 1971 has resulted in positive changes in fish populations. We assessed changes in the fishery by analyzing rotenone samples in relation to changes in water quality. Before 1970, pH ranged between 3.8 and 5.8 and alkalinity between 0.0 and 2.0 mg/1. After 1980, mean annual pH ranged from 7.0 to 7.3 and alkalinity ranged from 8.7 to 12.9 mg/1. From 1973 to 1990, mean fish biomass increased in nearly every...

Year
1991