An assessment of the biotic integrity of the Chattahoochee River, GA, downstream of Atlanta, GA
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During the past decade, indices that assess biological integrity have become an important tool for natural resource managers. A 1990-91 assessment of a 64-km reach of the Chattahoochee River downstream of Atlanta, GA found this reach to be in poor condition. Since then, phosphorous loads in the river have declined and piscivorus striped bass Morone saxatilis have been introduced. The biological integrity of the same reach of the Chattahoochee River was reassessed with the methods used in the previous study. Biotic integrity scores increased slightly from those of the 1992 study at three of the four stations. However, there was a decreasing trend in the metric that measures fish health. Improvements in the biotic integrity of this reach was only marginal and remains poor. Further, dramatic reductions in pollution and habitat degradation would be necessary before the biotic integrity of this reach of river improves to fair or good.