CWT-LTER Data Set Summary

Accession: 4045 CWT Research Theme: Water Quality and Quantity
Contributors: William O. McLarney, Jason Meador, John Chamblee
Title: Upper Little Tennessee River Biomonitoring Program Database
Abstract: For over 25 years, citizen scientists and Dr. William O. McLarney, working first with the Little Tennessee Watershed Association and later with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (now known as Mainspring Conservation Trust) have been providing a comprehensive view of the fish species diversity and, by extension, stream health through their Index of Biotic Integrity Surveys. This dataset provides both tabular data, as well as a comprehensive database built in a relational database framework. Data include information on tables provide data on survey sites, survey episodes, fish species observations and fish species characteristics (sensitivity, trophic guilds, etc).
Key Words: Biodiversity, Coweeta LTER, CWT, Fish, Index of Biotic Integrity, Little Tennessee Watershed Association, LTWA, Macon County, North Carolina, Rabun County, Georgia, Swain County, North Carolina, Upper Little Tennessee River
LTER Core Area: Population Studies
CWT Themes: Water Quality and Quantity, Population Ecology
Study Type: LTWA Biomonitoring Program
Study Period: 01-Jun-1988 to 01-Sep-2013
Site References:
ULTRB -- Upper Little Tennessee River Basin, North Carolina, USA
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Downloads: 

Data Table: auth_collectors (Authority table for survey participants., 2)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 collector_id None alphanumeric string Machine generated primary key for collectors.
2 collector_last None alphanumeric string Last Name of collector.
3 collector_first None alphanumeric string First Name of collector.
4 year YYYY integer Year collector was working.

Data Table: auth_county (Authority table for counties in study., 2)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 county none alphanumeric string List of legal values for NCDNR required county field.
2 state None alphanumeric string The state containing the county.

Data Table: auth_disagreements (Authority table for disagreement codes concerning fish species (tolerance, native v. exotic, trophic guilds, etc.), 6)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 disagreement_code None alphanumeric string Primary key for disagreement codes.
2 disagreement None alphanumeric string Explanation of disagreement codes.

Data Table: auth_episode_types (Auhority table for types of survey (IBI protocol vs. more informal surveys)., 8)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_type_code None alphanumeric string List of legal values for episodes types codes.
2 episode_type None alphanumeric string List of legal values for types of episodes.
3 nc_dnr_project None alphanumeric string List of legal values for nc_dnr output

Data Table: auth_flow (NC DNR requested authority table for types of stream flow at survey sites., 3)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 flow None alphanumeric string List of legal values for NCDNR required flow observations.

Data Table: auth_ibi_ratings (Authority table for ibi rating values., 6)

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Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 rating None alphanumeric string List of legal values for IBI ratings.
2 explanation None alphanumeric string Brief explanation of what the rating means.

Data Table: auth_macroinvertebrate_method (Authority table for macroinvertebrate methods., 1)

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Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 macroinvertebrate_method None alphanumeric string Primary key for macroinvertebrate data collection.
2 macroinvertebrate_method_description None alphanumeric string Short description of macroinvertebrate data colectionmethods.

Data Table: auth_method (NC-DNR requested authority table for survey methodologies., 10)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 method None alphanumeric string List of legal values for NCDNR required collection methods.

Data Table: auth_native_exotic (Authority table for codes concerning whether or not fish are native or exotic., 4)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 native_exotic_code None alphanumeric string Primary Key for native/exotic code list.
2 nativ_exotic_description None alphanumeric string Explanation of native/exotic codes.

Data Table: auth_observations (Authority table for qualitative data observation codes., 8)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 observation_code None alphanumeric string List of legal values for non-numeric observations.
2 observation None alphanumeric string Brief explanation of observation code.

Data Table: auth_original_import_of_mclarney_codes (This table was the original import of Bill's codes. It is outside the database schema, but is kept for record-keeping., 383)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 ID None alphanumeric string primary key for table
2 McLarney_Codes None alphanumeric string Original Site Codes generated by Bill McLarney
3 Sparks_Codes None alphanumeric string Original Site Codes generated by Noa Sparks
4 SiteOrdinal None integer Order in which sites were surveyed since 1989.
5 CreekCode None alphanumeric string Code, generated by Bill McLarney, for creek on which site is located.
6 BillNotes None alphanumeric string Notes from Bill McLarney about sites.
7 description None alphanumeric string Physical description of site.
8 dd_e decimal degrees floating-point Geographic Easting coordinate, in decimal degrees.
9 dd_n decimal degrees floating-point Geographic Northing coordinate, in decimal degrees.

Data Table: auth_primary_basins (The adjacent sub-basins we use to aggregae data across the Upper Little Tennessee Basin, 73)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 stream_name None alphanumeric string Name of Stream from USGS and other sources.
2 watershed_ID None alphanumeric string Unique number for each watershed generated by ArcGIS and linked to data in LTWA_GIS geodatabase.
3 stream_code None alphanumeric string Three letter code identifying stream created by Bill McLarney.
4 site_id None alphanumeric string LTWA Biomonitoring site along the stream that is closest to the stream's mouth (e.g. the watershed outlet for the Biomonitoring Project).
5 site_id_old None alphanumeric string Site id generated by Noa Sparks (superceded).
6 Shape_Length m floating-point Length of stream from ArcGIS
7 Shape_Area m^2 floating-point The size of the watershed from ArcGIS.

Data Table: auth_species (Authority table for fish species., 85)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 species_code None alphanumeric string Primary key for list of legal of values for fish species in the LTWA/McClarney IBI fish surveys.
2 species_taxonomy None alphanumeric string Official species designation for all legal values within the fish species list.
3 common_name None alphanumeric string Official AFS common name for all legal values within the fish species list.
4 disagreement_code None alphanumeric string Codes indicates the presence of disagreement over some aspect of the species discreption.
5 native_exotic_code None alphanumeric string Indicates whether or not the species is a native or exotic variant.
6 species_family None alphanumeric string The family for the species.
7 species_tolerance_code None alphanumeric string Indicates whether or not the species is tolerant or intolerant of disturbance.
8 trophic_guild_code None alphanumeric string Indicates the trophic guild for the species.

Data Table: auth_stream_class (Authority table for stream size classes, in square kilometers., 6)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 stream_class_code None alphanumeric string Primary Key for stream size classes.
2 stream_class None alphanumeric string List of legal values for stream size classes.

Data Table: auth_streams (Authority table for streams on which the LTWA biomonitoring program takes place., 154)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 stream_code None alphanumeric string Three letter code developed by Bill McLarney for the stream.
2 sparks_code None alphanumeric string Code for the stream developed by Noa Sparks.
3 Stream Name None alphanumeric string Name
4 Trib_System None alphanumeric string Main Tributary system feeding into the Little Tennessee River
5 Notes None alphanumeric string Notes concerning the stream.

Data Table: auth_tolerance (Authority table for the habitat related tolerance level of a species., 4)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 tolerance_code None alphanumeric string Primary key for tolerance codes.
2 tolerance_descriptions None alphanumeric string Explanation of tolerance codes.

Data Table: auth_topo_quad (Authority table for topographic quads., 1)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 auth_topo_quad None alphanumeric string Primary key for Topo Quad.
2 topo_quad_name None alphanumeric string Name of topo quad.

Data Table: auth_trophic_guilds (Authority table for the trophic guild to hich a species belongs., 9)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 trophic_guild_code None alphanumeric string Primary Key for trophic guilds.
2 trophic_guild None alphanumeric string Explanation of trophic guild codes.

Data Table: auth_visibility (NC-DNR requested authority table for the visibility of sample site at the time of survey, 5)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 visibility None alphanumeric string List of legal values for NCDNR required visibility observations.

Data Table: auth_yes_no (Authority table for yes or no., 2)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 auth_yes_no None alphanumeric string Primary key and list of legal values for yes no fields.

Data Table: ibi_scores_rating_sparks_original (Sparks -transcribed ibi_scores & ratings. Not good data., 368)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking survey episodes to IBI Scores.
2 score None integer IBI score generated from direct field observations by Bill McClarney.
3 rating None integer IBI rating generated from direct field observations by Bill McClarney.
4 percent_diseased % floating-point Percentage of diseased fish observed for this IBI survey episode.
5 comments None alphanumeric string Any specific comments related to the IBI score.
6 flag None alphanumeric string Internal CWT field to flag this record as having potential errors

Data Table: ibi_scores_ratings (Data table providing McLarney-generated IBI scores and ratings for streams and years., 473)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking survey episodes to IBI Scores.
2 score None integer IBI score generated from direct field observations by Bill McClarney.
3 rating None integer IBI rating generated from direct field observations by Bill McClarney.
4 percent_diseased % floating-point Percentage of diseased fish observed for this IBI survey episode.
5 comments None alphanumeric string Any specific comments related to the IBI score.
6 flag None alphanumeric string Internal CWT field to flag this record as having potential errors

Data Table: IBI_SUM (Data table summarizing the quantitative fish species and IBI score data from the LTWA / LTWA Biomonitoring program in the Upper Little Tennessee Watershed, North Carolina., 8889)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats:

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 siteno None alphanumeric string Primary key for sites.
2 date dd-mmm-yyyy alphanumeric string Date for fish survey episode.
3 latitude decimal degrees floating-point The Decimal Degree Northing coordinate for the site.
4 longitude decimal degrees floating-point The Decimal Degree Easting coordinate for the site.
5 location None alphanumeric string A short text description of the site location.
6 county none alphanumeric string County where the sample was collected.
7 waterway None alphanumeric string Name of Stream from USGS and other sources.
8 flow None alphanumeric string NCDNR required characterization of flow.
9 max_depth cm floating-point NCDNR required Maximum depth of sampling area.
10 visibility None alphanumeric string NCDNR required characterization of visibility.
11 method None alphanumeric string The fish catching methods used for the survey.
12 e_shock_time seconds integer Duration of electroshock time (in seconds). Enter a new record for each electroshocker used.
13 taxonomy None alphanumeric string Formal species designation for all legal values within the fish species list.
14 count None integer Number of fish associated with the species_code observed during the survey.
15 ibi_score None integer Overall IBI score generated from direct field observations by field workers
16 ibi_rating None integer Overal IBI rating generated from direct field observations by field workers.
17 percent_diseased % floating-point Overall percentage of diseased fish observed for this survey episode. This is not species specific.

Data Table: ibi_survey_species_counts (Data table providing quantitative measures of species recorded during surveys undertaken using the IBI protocol., 9090)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species observations to survey episodes.
2 species_code None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species codes to the list of all legal values for fish species.
3 count None integer Number of fish associated with the species_code observed during the survey.
4 comments None alphanumeric string Comments specific this particular species, as observed during this particular episode.

Data Table: ibi_surveys_additional_observations (Data table providing qualitative measures of species recorded during surveys undertaken using the IBI protocol., 236)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 species_code None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species codes to the list of all legal values for fish species.
2 observation_code None alphanumeric string Abundance or Presence/Absence code for fish associated with the species_code observed during the survey.
3 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species observations to survey episodes.
4 comments None alphanumeric string Comments specific this particular species, as observed during this particular episode.

Data Table: other_survey_species_counts (Data table providing quantitative measures of species recorded during surveys undertaken with protocols other than IBI protocol., 601)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species observations to survey episodes.
2 species_code None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species codes to the list of all legal values for fish species.
3 count count integer Number of fish associated with the species_code observed during the survey.
4 comments None alphanumeric string Comments specific this particular species, as observed during this particular episode.

Data Table: other_surveys_additional_observations (Data table providing qualitative measures of species recorded during surveys undertaken with protocols other than IBI protocol., 2447)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species observations to survey episodes.
2 species_code None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking species codes to the list of all legal values for fish species.
3 observation_code None alphanumeric string Abundance or Presence/Absence code for fish associated with the species_code observed during the survey.
4 comments None alphanumeric string Comments specific this particular species, as observed during this particular episode.

Data Table: sites (Data table summarizing location information for all McLarney survey sites (both IBI and non-IBI protocols)., 392)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 site_id_old None alphanumeric string Original primary key for sites table, generated by Noa Sparks.
2 description None alphanumeric string A short text description of the site location.
3 site_name None alphanumeric string A shorter name than the description.
4 utm_e m floating-point The UTM Easting coordinate for the site.
5 utm_n m floating-point The UTM Northing coordinate for the site.
6 watershed_area_kmsq km² floating-point The watershed area, in square kilometers, upstream from the site.
7 stream_code None alphanumeric string Foreign key linking the site to the list of legal values for associated named streams.
8 elevation m floating-point Elevation (in meters above sea level).
9 dd_e decimal degrees floating-point The Decimal Degree Easting coordinate for the site.
10 dd_n decimal degrees floating-point The Decimal Degree Northing coordinate for the site.
11 county none alphanumeric string NCDNR required County Value.
12 road_no None alphanumeric string NCDNR required road number.
13 site_id None alphanumeric string New Primary key for sites, generated by Bill McLarney.
14 site_ordinal None integer Ordinal number indicating the order in which Bill McLarney first visited each site. Sites number below 500 are IBI sites. Those above are other kinds of survey.
15 sampling_rationale None alphanumeric string The rationale and interval of the sampling intervals and sampling site selection.
16 notes None alphanumeric string Notes, mostly by Bill McLarney, concerning the site.
17 primary_basin None alphanumeric string The smallest adjacent intermediate-sized watershed within the Upper Little Tennessee containing the site. Sites along the mainstem of the Cullasaja, Cartagoochaye, and Little Tennessee are recognized separately.
18 stream_class_code None alphanumeric string Foreign Key for stream size classes.
19 river_mile mile floating-point Distance, in miles, between the river mouth and the site.
20 topo_quad None alphanumeric string The topo quad on which the site is located.
21 macroinvertebrates_required None alphanumeric string Sites where a bug sample is required for assessment. Categories include: * watershed area <4 sq. mi., altitude >3,000 ft., above major barrier (includes Highlands Plateau), gradient >100 ft./mi.
22 macroinvertebrate_method None alphanumeric string distinguishes if site should be sampled using the Qual 4 method or the Large site method, as explained by Dave Penrose. (cut off is at 4 sq. mi, but some larger sites have been done using the qual 4 method already and should be grandfathered in)
23 landowner_f_name none alphanumeric string Landowner First Name
24 landowner_m_i none alphanumeric string Landowner Middle Initial
25 landowner_l_name none alphanumeric string Landowner Last Name
26 landowner_address_l1 None alphanumeric string Line 1 of landowner address.
27 landowner_address_l2 None alphanumeric string Line 2 of Landowner address.
28 landowner_city none alphanumeric string City for landowner address.
29 landowner_state none alphanumeric string State for Landowner address.
30 landowner_zip None alphanumeric string Zip code for landowner address.
31 landownership_history None alphanumeric string Narrative describing past ownership and modifications to the site.
32 landowner_phone None alphanumeric string Phone Number for landowner.
33 special_considerations None alphanumeric string special notes about the site - does it have to be coordinated with TVA or WRC? Do we always use the same group (ex: joan willis). Should also include any special landowner problems/considerations.
34 elevation_feet ft floating-point Elevation in feet above sea level.
35 watershed_area_sqmi mile² floating-point The watershed area, in square miles, upstream from the site.

Data Table: sites_gis (, 388)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 site_id_old None alphanumeric string Original primary key for sites table, generated by Noa Sparks.
2 description None alphanumeric string A short text description of the site location.
3 utm_e m floating-point The UTM Easting coordinate for the site.
4 utm_n m floating-point The UTM Northing coordinate for the site.
5 watershed_area_kmsq km² floating-point The watershed area, in square kilometers, upstream from the site.
6 stream_code None alphanumeric string Foreign key linking the site to the list of legal values for associated named streams.
7 elevation m floating-point Elevation (in meters above sea level).
8 dd_e decimal degrees floating-point The Decimal Degree Easting coordinate for the site.
9 dd_n decimal degrees floating-point The Decimal Degree Northing coordinate for the site.
10 county none alphanumeric string NCDNR required County Value.
11 road_no None alphanumeric string NCDNR required road number.
12 site_id None alphanumeric string New Primary key for sites, generated by Bill McLarney.
13 site_ordinal None integer Ordinal number indicating the order in which Bill McLarney first visited each site. Sites number below 500 are IBI sites. Those above are other kinds of survey.
14 notes none alphanumeric string Notes, mostly by Bill McLarney, concerning the site.
15 primary_tributary None alphanumeric string The smallest adjacent intermediate-sized watershed within the Upper Little Tennessee containing the site. Sites along the mainstem of the Cullasaja, Cartagoochaye, and Little Tennessee are recognized separately.
16 stream_class_code None alphanumeric string Foreign Key for stream size classes.

Data Table: survey_episode_eshock (, 94)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 episode_id None alphanumeric string Foreign Key linking e-shocker data to survey episode.
2 e_shock_time seconds integer Duration of electroshock time (in seconds). Enter a new record for each electroshocker used.

Data Table: survey_episodes (Data table summarizing methodological and temporal information concerning all McLarney surveys (both IBI and non-IBI protocols)., 948)

Access: Public (released 01-Jun-2010)

Metadata: Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Microsoft Access Database format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 site_id_old None alphanumeric string Original Foreign key linking episodes to sites, generated by Noa Sparks.
2 episode_id None alphanumeric string Primary Key for fish survey episodes.
3 episode_date dd-mmm-yyyy alphanumeric string Date for fish survey episode.
4 episode_type_code None alphanumeric string Type of survey episode (IBI or other).
5 catch_rate % floating-point The catch rate for the survey (reported as ????).
6 comments None alphanumeric string Comments for specific to the survey episode.
7 flow None alphanumeric string NCDNR required characterization of flow.
8 min_depth cm floating-point NCDNR required Minimum depth (at thalweg) of sampling area.
9 max_depth cm floating-point NCDNR required Maximum depth of sampling area.
10 visibility None alphanumeric string NCDNR required characterization of visibility.
11 methods None alphanumeric string The fish catching methods used for the survey.
12 site_id None alphanumeric string New Foreign key linked to sites, generated by Bill McLarney.