Stream salmonids have long played a major and beneficial role in human cultures and economies, and this importance is reflected by literally thousands of publications that have been devoted to them over the last two hundred years. Such unusually rich body of information should have contributed to the sustainable management of populations of salmonids around the world. Unfortunately, that is far from being the case because many human activities threaten their existence, and these impacts have accelerated greatly in the last few decades. In some cases, these threats arise from questionable fisheries management practices but in a multitude of other cases human impacts on the landscape threatens their habitat itself. Stocking, introduction and translocation of populations and/or species have been widespread in many regions; stream habitats have been severely altered through construction of dams, weirs, canalization and water diversion; water quality has been impaired by both point and non-point source pollution; and fluvial hydrology has been modified in many watersheds by a variety of human land-use activities. The distribution range as well as the population size of many species of stream salmonids have been reduced to alarmingly low levels; whereas, the introductions of non-native salmonids have seriously damaged native fish faunas in many parts of the world.
Considering the amount of research and management effort that stream salmonids have received, it is both legitimate and timely to ask whether the knowledge acquired to date is appropriate not only to understand their complex ecology and overwhelming diversity of life-history strategies but also to offer solutions to the conservation issues faced by all countries where stream salmonids are present.
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