Multistate Aquatic Resources Information System - MARIS - Fish

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Aug 3, 2020 United States Geological Survey
Publication date:
3 August 2020
CC-BY 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 961,352 records in English (21 MB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (106 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (32 KB)


A legacy record for a dataset generated by a cooperative effort between state and federal agencies to share fisheries information collected as part of ongoing sampling programs. MARIS data is owned and provided by participating state natural resource management agencies. This legacy dataset is hosted by the Core Science Systems Science Analytics and Synthesis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. MARIS served data collected by a variety of agencies and organizations over various time periods. Data collection techniques, gear, and protocols may not be consistent across all datasets. Therefore, users of MARIS data should be aware of the limitations of the data available through the system.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 961,352 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Loftus, Andrew J.; Flather, Curtis H. 2000. Fish and other aquatic resource trends in the United States: A technical document supporting the 2000 USDA Forest Service RPA Assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-53. Ft. Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 50 p. (A case study of how MARIS has been used to evaluate trend over time.)


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: e0ae862b-d456-4cb2-900b-c4928b75a1f8.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Occurrence; fisheries; freshwater fishes; Observation

External data

The resource data is also available in other formats

Multistate Aquatic Resources Information System (MARIS) - Fish in USGS BISON UTF-8 CSV, SHP


Andrew Loftus
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
MARIS, Andrew Loftus Consulting
3116 Munz Drive, Suite A
21403 Annapolis
+1 410.295.5997
Annie Simpson
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Biologist & Information Scientist
United States Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 302
20192 Reston
+1 703.648.4281

Geographic Coverage

Participating US states, from latitude 25.71999931 to 49.09999847 and longitude -111.0400009 to -71.90000153. State names: Alabama Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Indiana Iowa Maryland Michigan Minnesota Nebraska New Jersey New York North Carolina Ohio Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Vermont Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Bounding Coordinates South West [25.72, -111.04], North East [49.1, -71.9]

Taxonomic Coverage

freshwater fish data, including 436 unique taxa.

Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Family Acanthuridae, Atherinopsidae, Centrarchidae, Cyprinidae, Enneacanthus, Fundulidae, Gasterosteidae, Ictaluridae, Mugilidae, Percidae, Petromyzontidae, Serranidae, Sparidae, Syngnathidae, Umbridae
Genus Acipenser, Ameiurus, Campostoma, Carpiodes, Catostomus, Coregonus, Cottus, Cyprinella, Etheostoma, Fundulus, Hiodon, Hybognathus, Ichthyomyzon, Ictiobus, Lampetra, Lepisosteus, Lepomis, Menidia, Morone, Moxostoma, Notropis, Noturus, Oncorhynchus, Percina, Phoxinus, Polyodonthula, Pomoxis, Salvelinus, Umbra, Esox
Species Acantharchus pomotis, Acipenser fulvescens, Alosa aestivalis, Alosa alabamae, Alosa chrysochloris, Alosa mediocris, Alosa pseudoharengus, Alosa sapidissima, Ambloplites ariommus, Ambloplites rupestris, Ameiurus brunneus, Ameiurus catus, Ameiurus melas, Ameiurus natalis, Ameiurus nebulosus, Ameiurus platycephalus, Ameiurus serracanthus, Amia calva, Ammocrypta, Ammocrypta clara, Anchoa mitchilli, Anguilla rostrata, Apeltes quadracus, Aphredoderus sayanus, Aplodinotus grunniens, Archosargus probatocephalus, Bothus ocellatus, Brevoortia tyrannus, Callinectes sapidus, Campostoma anomalum, Campostoma oligolepis, Campostoma pauciradii, Caranx hippos, Carassius auratus, Carpiodes carpio, Carpiodes cyprinus, Carpiodes velifer, Catostomus ardens, Catostomus catostomus, Catostomus commersonii, Catostomus discobolus, Catostomus latipinnis, Catostomus platyrhynchus, Centrarchus macropterus, Channa argus, Cheilopogon melanurus, Clinostomus elongatus, Clinostomus funduloides, Clupea harengus, Coregonus alpenae, Coregonus artedi, Coregonus clupeaformis, Coregonus johannae, Coregonus nigripinnis, Coregonus reighardi, Coregonus zenithicus, Cottus bairdii, Cottus beldingi, Cottus caeruleomentum, Cottus carolinae, Cottus cognatus, Cottus girardi, Cottus ricei, Couesius plumbeus, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Culaea inconstans, Cycleptus elongatus, Cynoscion regalis, Cyprinella analostana, Cyprinella callisema, Cyprinella callistia, Cyprinella callitaenia, Cyprinella galactura, Cyprinella gibbsi, Cyprinella leedsi, Cyprinella lutrensis, Cyprinella nivea, Cyprinella trichroistia, Cyprinella venusta, Cyprinella xaenura, Cyprinellaloptera, Cyprinodon variegatus, Cyprinodontidae, Cyprinus carpio, Dorosoma cepedianum, Dorosoma petenense, Elassoma evergladei, Elassoma zonatum, Enneacanthus chaetodon, Enneacanthus gloriosus, Enneacanthus obesus, Epinephelus morio, Erimystax dissimilis, Erimystax insignis, Erimystax punctatus, Erimyzon oblongus, Erimyzon sucetta, Esox americanus, Esox americanus americanus, Esox americanus vermiculatus, Esox lucius, Esox masquinongy, Esox niger, Esox reicherti, Etheostoma asprigene, Etheostoma blennioides, Etheostoma brevirostrum, Etheostoma caeruleum, Etheostoma camurum, Etheostoma cervus, Etheostoma chlorobranchium, Etheostoma chuckwachatte, Etheostoma cinereum, Etheostoma coosae, Etheostoma duryi, Etheostoma edwini, Etheostoma exile, Etheostoma flabellare, Etheostoma fusiforme, Etheostoma hopkinsi, Etheostoma inscriptum, Etheostoma jessiae, Etheostoma jordani, Etheostoma maculatum, Etheostoma microperca, Etheostoma nigrum, Etheostoma olivaceum, Etheostoma olmstedi, Etheostoma parvipinne, Etheostoma pellucidum, Etheostoma percnurum, Etheostoma rufilineatum, Etheostoma rupestre, Etheostoma sagitta, Etheostoma simoterum, Etheostoma stigmaeum, Etheostoma swaini, Etheostoma tallapoosae, Etheostoma trisella, Etheostoma variatum, Etheostoma zonale, Etheostomactabile, Exoglossum laurae, Exoglossum maxillingua, Fundulus catenatus, Fundulus chrysotus, Fundulus diaphanus, Fundulus escambiae, Fundulus heteroclitus, Fundulus lineolatus, Fundulus majalis, Fundulus notatus, Fundulus notti, Fundulus olivaceus, Fundulus sciadicus, Fundulus stellifer, Fundulus zebrinus, Gambusia affinis, Gambusia holbrooki, Gasterosteus aculeatus, Gila atraria, Gila robusta, Gobiosoma bosc, Gymnocephalus cernuus, Hemitremia flammea, Heterandria formosa, Hiodon alosoides, Hiodon tergisus, Hippocampus erectus, Hybognathus hankinsoni, Hybognathus nuchalis, Hybognathus placitus, Hybognathus regius, Hybopsis amblops, Hybopsis amnis, Hybopsis lineapunctata, Hybopsis rubrifrons, Hybopsis winchelli, Hypentelium etowanum, Hypentelium nigricans, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, Ichthyomyzon bdellium, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, Ichthyomyzon fossor, Ichthyomyzon gagei, Ichthyomyzon greeleyi, Ichthyomyzon unicuspis, Ictalurus, Ictalurus furcatus, Ictalurus punctatus, Ictiobus bubalus, Ictiobus cyprinellus, Labidesthes sicculus, Lampetra aepyptera, Lampetra appendix, Leiostomus xanthurus, Lepisosteus oculatus, Lepisosteus osseus, Lepisosteus platostomus, Lepisosteus platyrhincus, Lepomis auritus, Lepomis cyanellus, Lepomis gibbosus, Lepomis gulosus, Lepomis humilis, Lepomis hybrids, Lepomis macrochirus, Lepomis marginatus, Lepomis megalotis, Lepomis microlophus, Lepomis punctatus, Lota lota, Luxilus chrysocephalus, Luxilus coccogenis, Luxilus cornutus, Luxilus zonistius, Lythrurus atrapiculus, Lythrurus bellus, Lythrurus lirus, Lythrurus umbratilis, Macrhybopsis aestivalis, Macrhybopsis gelida, Macrhybopsis storeriana, Margariscus margarita, Menidia beryllina, Menidia menidia, Micropogonias undulatus, Micropterus, Micropterus cataractae, Micropterus coosae, Micropterus dolomieu, Micropterus punctulatus, Micropterus salmoides, Minytrema melanops, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, Morone americana, Morone chrysops, Morone mississippiensis, Morone saxatilis, Moxostoma anisurum, Moxostoma apalachicola redhorse, Moxostoma carinatum, Moxostoma collapsum, Moxostoma duquesnei, Moxostoma erythrurum, Moxostoma lachneri, Moxostoma macrolepidotum, Moxostoma poecilurum, Moxostoma robustum, Moxostoma rupiscartes, Moxostoma valenciennesi, Mugil curema, Myoxocephalus quadricornis, Myoxocephalus thompsonii, Neogobius melanostomus, Nocomis biguttatus, Nocomis leptocephalus, Nocomis micropogon, Notemigonus crysoleucas, Notropis amoenus, Notropis amplamala, Notropis anogenus, Notropis asperifrons, Notropis atherinoides, Notropis baileyi, Notropis bifrenatus, Notropis blennius, Notropis buccatus, Notropis chalybaeus, Notropis chrosomus, Notropis cummingsae, Notropis dorsalis, Notropis harperi, Notropis heterodon, Notropis heterolepis, Notropis hudsonius, Notropis hypsilepis, Notropis leuciodus, Notropis longirostris, Notropis lutipinnis, Notropis maculatus, Notropis nubilus, Notropis percobromus, Notropis petersoni, Notropis photogenis, Notropis procne, Notropis rubellus, Notropis scepticus, Notropis stamineus, Notropis stilbius, Notropis stramineus, Notropis telescopus, Notropis texanus, Notropis topeka, Notropis volucellus, Notropis xaenocephalus, Notropisctrunculus, Noturus exilis, Noturus flavipinnis, Noturus flavus, Noturus funebris, Noturus gyrinus, Noturus insignis, Noturus leptacanthus, Noturus miurus, Noturus nocturnus, Oncorhynchus clarkii, Oncorhynchus clarkii bouveri, Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus, Oncorhynchus clarkii utah, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, Oncorhynchus kisutch, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita, Oncorhynchus nerka, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Opsopoeodus emiliae, Osmerus mordax, Palaemonetes, Paralichthys dentatus, Peprilus triacanthus, Perca flavescens, Percina antesella, Percina aurantiaca, Percina caprodes, Percina copelandi, Percina evides, Percina kathae, Percina kusha, Percina macrocephala, Percina maculata, Percina muscadine darter, Percina nigrofasciata, Percina palmaris, Percina peltata, Percina phoxocephala, Percina sciera, Percina shumardi, Percopsis omiscomaycus, Petromyzon marinus, Phenacobius catostomus, Phenacobius crassilabrum, Phenacobius mirabilis, Phenacobius uranops, Phoxinus eos, Phoxinus erythrogaster, Phoxinus neogaeus, Phoxinus tennesseensis, Pimephales notatus, Pimephales promelas, Pimephales vigilax, Platygobio gracilis, Polyprion americanus, Pomatomus saltatrix, Pomoxis annularis, Pomoxis nigromaculatus, Prosopium cylindraceum, Prosopium williamsoni, Pteronotropis euryzonus, Pteronotropis grandipinnis, Pteronotropis stonei, Pungitius pungitius, Pylodictis olivaris, Rhinichthys atratulus, Rhinichthys cataractae, Rhinichthys obtusus, Rhinichthys osculus, Richardsonius balteatus, Salmo letnica, Salmo salar, Salmo trutta, Salvelinus and salmo, Salvelinus fontinalis, Salvelinus namaycush, Salvelinus namaycush siscowet, Sander canadensis, Sander vitreus, Scaphirhynchus, Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, Scardinius erythrophthalmus, Selene setapinnis, Semotilus atromaculatus, Semotilus corporalis, Semotilus thoreauianus, Strongylura marina, Thymallus arcticus, Trinectes maculatus, Umbra limi, Umbra pygmaea

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1944-11-07 / 2010-12-17

Project Data

No Description available

Title Multistate Aquatic Resources Information System
Funding MARIS data is owned and provided by participating state natural resource management agencies, while technical support and hosting are currently provided by the Core Science Analytics Synthesis and Libraries Program of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Study Area Description MARIS data is owned and provided by participating state natural resource management agencies. A key component of MARIS incorporates several ways of georeferencing data – ranging from the Public Lands Survey System to current-day GPS coordinates for identifying survey sites. This flexibility means that data can be compatible with a variety of external data sets such as water quality, land use/land cover, etc., allowing fisheries data to be overlaid with these other data systems to provide a more complete ecosystem analysis. The range of georeferencing options also allows the sharing of data at a geographic level with which agencies are comfortable– whether precise point locations or more broad levels (e.g. watershed) that might be more applicable for sensitive species.
Design Description MARIS is designed to be flexible to accommodate a wide range of data collected from multiple sources. As a result, individual sampling records will NOT include all of these elements, but could contain: 1) Waterbody Locations, including various measures such as Latitude/Longitude, HUC, NHD, NHD+, Public Lands Survey, etc. 2) Fish Collection Information by species, including Catch-Per-Effort, Population Estimate, Numbers or Weight caught, etc. 3) Collection Methodologies, including Gear Types, Targeted or Community Sampling Indicators, etc. 4) Water Quality Measures at the time of fish sampling, including Alkalinity, Conductivity, pH, Secchi, Temperature, etc. 5) Size and Age (coming soon) to include measures of each sample, including mean, minimum, and maximum size/age caught.

The personnel involved in the project:

Andrew Loftus

Sampling Methods

With any fisheries data collection, sampling protocols will influence the results and ultimately the interpretation and comparability of samples. Different gears, gear deployment, sampling seasons, and purpose of sampling dictate what is eventually collected. To help interpret the data, all users of these data should read all available metadata and sampling manuals. Note that in the MARIS dataset, if data were collected using multi-pass electrofishing, only the results of the first pass are included in the "count" and catch-per-unit-effort fields, although the entirety of the sampling was likely used for calculating population estimates.

Study Extent MARIS serves data collected by a variety of agencies and organizations over various time periods. Data collection techniques, gear, and protocols may not be consistent across all datasets. Therefore, users of MARIS data should be aware of the limitations of the data available through the system.
Quality Control The MARIS partnership does not peer-review the quality of the data provided. MARIS data providers are credible and authoritative sources – mostly state agency data collectors. MARIS does not own or try to control or limit the use of any data or products accessible through its website. Accordingly, it does not take responsibility for the quality of such data or products, or the use that people may make of them. Data served through MARIS do not contain the entirety of any one data provider's dataset. MARIS only provides select variables related to fish (and in some cases invertebrate) collections that could be useful in determining status, trends, or distribution of a species.

Method step description:

  1. Presence: At a minimum, MARIS data can be used to determine presence of a species at a given time under the assumption that species were identified correctly. Lack of information on a species does not necessarily indicate absence.
  2. Presence/Absence: In general much of the data in MARIS cannot be used to indicate absence of a species. If the field "Target Standard" is "Target" or "Unknown", the sample cannot be used for absence. If "Target Standard" is populated with "All," this indicates that all species were targeted during sampling, and the sample might be useful for determining absence. However, sampling factors such as gear, season, and amount of sampling effort must still be taken into consideration.
  3. Distribution: MARIS data can be used to indicate the minimum distribution of a species within the geographic boundaries of the data presented in MARIS. However, data should not be used to indicate the maximum distribution of a species since not all waterways are sampled as well as factors discussed above under "Presence/Absence."
  4. Abundance: MARIS contains several variables that provide varying measures of abundance, including Count (number of a species caught in a sample), four measures of Catch-Per-Unit-Effort, and a limited number of population estimates. Not all variables will be populated in all datasets. In fact, it is likely that only 1-2 of these variables will be present in a given dataset.
  5. Water Quality: The MARIS Water Characteristics table is designed to capture physical/chemical attributes of a waterbody where a fish or invertebrate sample is taken. Water quality parameters, if included, are taken at the approximate time that the fish or invertebrate sampling occurs. MARIS should not be considered an extensive water quality database (which are available through other sources including state water quality agencies, US Environmental Protection Agency, etc.).

Additional Metadata

For appropriate contextual, explanatory and interpretive information users should consult FGDC-compliant metadata records, available as a link on MARIS website and also as files provided with each dataset during download, and refer to individual contributors through the procedures established in their respective websites. Questions about the MARIS system function itself should be directed to the MARIS Coordinator,

Purpose Data served through MARIS do not contain the entirety of any one data provider's dataset. MARIS only provides select variables related to fish (and in some cases invertebrate) collections that could be useful in determining status, trends, or distribution of a species.
Maintenance Description This is data from an information system that has been taken off line.
Alternative Identifiers e0ae862b-d456-4cb2-900b-c4928b75a1f8