Internet-based Biodiversity Database Workshop April 24 - 27, 2000


The Multi-state Aquatic Resources Information System

T. Douglas Beard

Treaty Fisheries Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Traditionally, state agencies in the United States have invested millions of dollars to collect information on fish populations. Management of fisheries resources often necessitates the sharing of this information across political boundaries. Federal agencies need to share information on fish populations across political boundaries to complete the congressional mandates of the Resource Planning Act (U.S. Forest Service) and Resource Conservation Act (Natural Resources Conservation Service). Further, these data are needed for other analyses such as proposed listings under the Endangered Species Management Act and examinations of possible climate change effects. Since 1994, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division (formerly National Biological Survey), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have collaborated to develop a system to share these data. The Multi-state Aquatic Resources Information System (MARIS) uses the World Wide Web to provide access to state-maintained fisheries datasets from lakes as well as share standardized summaries with end users. Partners in MARIS have developed three standard lake datasets for access. Lake datasets contain data on physical, chemical, catch-per-unit effort, and metadata about each collection. Through this project, the user has access to thousands of fish records across the upper Midwest. As the MARIS project evolves, access to more-diverse fisheries information will become available.
( see Beard, et al., Fisheries 23(5):14-18.)