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Evaluation and synthesis of methods for identifying and quantifyingcritical fisheries habitat for Great Lakes lower riverine andnearshore zones

Great Lakes large riverine and nearshore ecosystems generate most of the Great Lakes fishery production and are heavily influenced by the quality and quantity of lower riverine and shoreline habitats.  Because of the functional link between fisheries productivity and habitat condition, accurate and precise assessment of critical fisheries habitat is essential to guide management decisions for habitat protection and restoration projects.  Although a variety of methods are available for identifying, quantifying, and classifying critical fisheries habitat in larger river and nearshore areas of the Great Lakes, methods differ in terms of accuracy, precision, spatial and temporal resolution, and cost.  This makes it difficult to accurately gauge what method may be most appropriate for a particular research or management objective.  A concerted research effort directed towards assembling, evaluating, and integrating the different sampling methodologies would greatly assist fishery managers in selecting appropriate methodology for their particular needs, and would help identify relationships between fish and lower riverine and near-shore habitats.  The goal of this project is to identify and critically assess the effectiveness of existing techniques used in habitat assessment, classification, rehabilitation, and management for Great Lakes fisheries, and to provide a guide for allocating research and management efforts in the Great Lakes lower riverine and nearshore regions.  We propose to compile, through review of primary and secondary literature, web search, and personal interviews, and synthesize existing approaches for evaluating and quantifying critical habitat features and methods of habitat rehabilitation in both lower riverine and nearshore areas of the Great Lakes.  Our research effort will provide a methodological protocol for assembling, categorizing, and identifying habitat assessment methods that are best applied for research, assessment and classification in the Great Lakes lower riverine and nearshore habitats.  

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Literature / Existing Data
Scale of Phenomena
Land Use and Habitat
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Erie
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
Lake Ontario
Lake St. Clair
Lake Superior
State Province
Annex Numbers
Pollution from Contaminated Groundwater

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.