A Scientific Basis for Erosion and Sedimentation Standards in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province
Meyer, Judy L.
Sutherland, Andrew B.
Freeman, Byron J.
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Excessive sedimentation is a threat to riverine ecosystems in the southern Appalachians. We sampled fish and suspended sediments in ten tributaries of the Etowah and Little Tennessee rivers. Sampling sites varied in the extent of sedimentation and could be separated into low and high turbidity streams. Based on differences in fish assemblages in these two stream types, the following standards would protect fishes in the Blue Ridge physiographic province: Turbidity values in stream water sampled during base flow conditions should not exceed 15 NTU, and turbidity should exceed 10 NTU in only one out of five stream water samples collected during base flow conditions. Base flow turbidity values in excess of these indicate excess sedimentation that threatens the integrity of southern Appalachian fish assemblages