Developing user-friendly habitat suitability tools from regional stream fish survey data

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

We developed user-friendly fish habitat suitability tools (plots) for fishery managers in Michigan; these tools are based on driving habitat variables and fish population estimates for several hundred stream sites throughout the state. We generated contour plots to show patterns in fish biomass for over 60 common species (and for 120 species grouped at the family level) in relation to axes of catchment area and low-flow yield (90% exceedance flow divided by catchment area) and also in relation to axes of mean and weekly range of July temperatures. The plots showed distinct patterns in fish habitat suitability at each level of biological organization studied and were useful for quantitatively comparing river sites. We demonstrate how these plots can be used to support stream management, and we provide examples pertaining to resource assessment, trout stocking, angling regulations, chemical reclamation of marginal trout streams, indicator species, instream flow protection, and habitat restoration. These straightforward and effective tools are electronically available so that managers can easily access and incorporate them into decision protocols and presentations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Developing user-friendly habitat suitability tools from regional stream fish survey data
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2011.557965
Volume 31
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 15 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
First page 41
Last page 55