A model to locate potential areas for lake sturgeon spawning habitat construction in the St. Clair–Detroit River System

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By:  and 

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Abstract

In response to a need for objective scientific information that could be used to help remediate loss of fish spawning habitat in the St. Clair River and Detroit River International Areas of Concern, this paper summarizes a large-scale geographic mapping investigation. Our study integrates data on two variables that many riverine fishes respond to in selecting where to spawn in these waters (water flow velocity and water depth) with available maps of the St. Clair–Detroit River System (SC–DRS). Our objectives were to locate and map these two physical components of fish habitat in the St. Clair and Detroit rivers and Lake St. Clair using a geographic information system (GIS) and to identify where, theoretically, fish spawning habitat could be remediated in these rivers. The target fish species to which this model applies is lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), but spawning reefs constructed for lake sturgeon in this system have been used for spawning by 17 species of fish. Our analysis revealed areas in each river that possessed suitable water velocity and depth for fish spawning and therefore could theoretically be remediated by the addition of rock-rubble substrate like that used at two previously remediated sites in the Detroit River at Belle Isle and Fighting Island. Results of our analysis revealed that only 3% of the total area of the SC–DRS possesses the necessary combination of water depth and high flow velocity to be indicated by the model as potential spawning habitat for lake sturgeon.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A model to locate potential areas for lake sturgeon spawning habitat construction in the St. Clair–Detroit River System
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2014.02.002
Volume 40
Issue Supplement 2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher International Association for Great Lakes Research
Publisher location Toronto
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 43
Last page 51
Country Canada, United States
State Michigan, Ontario
Other Geospatial St. Clair - Detroit River system
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N