Extreme value analysis of a fish/temperature field database

John G. Eaton, J. Howard McCormick, Heinz G. Stefan, Midhat Hondzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Extremes of water temperatures limit the presence of various fishes in streams and lakes. Upper extreme water temperatures and their uncertainties are determined by several statistical methods from a large field database. There are over 140 000 weekly mean fish/stream temperature matched pairs in the database. Three different techniques are employed to estimate upper extremes of habitat temperatures for 12 fish species. To quantify the uncertainty of the estimated extremes the bootstrap method, the method of moments and the residual method are applied. The data above the maximum growth temperature are matched well by a type III extremal or a three-parameter lognormal distribution. Standard error of the estimated extreme habitat temperatures depends on species and varies from 0.1°C to 0.6°C at the 95% cumulative probability of occurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-305
Number of pages17
JournalEcological Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Program Planning and Evaluation, Washington, D.C., and Environmental Research Laboratory-Duluth, Minnesota, for support of this study. B.E. Goodno, D.G. O'Brien, and K.E.F. Hokanson provided lake and fish/temperature data bases, without which this work could not have been done.


  • Fish
  • Fish growth
  • Temperature statistics
  • Temperature tolerance
  • Water temperatures


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