In 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey entered into a cooperative agreement with the International Joint Commission, St. Croix River Board to do an analysis of historical smallmouth bass habitat as a function of lake level for Spednic Lake in an effort to quantify the effects, if any, of historical lake-level management and meteorological conditions (from 1970 to 2009) on smallmouth bass year-class failure. The analysis requires estimating habitat availability as a function of lake level during spawning periods from 1970 to 2009, which is documented in this report. Field work was done from October 19 to 23, and from November 2 to 10, 2009, to acquire acoustic bathymetric (depth) data and acoustic data indicating the character of the surficial lake-bottom sediments. Historical lake-level data during smallmouth bass spawning (May-June) were applied to the bathymetric and surficial-sediment type data sets to produce annual historic estimates of smallmouth-bass-spawning-habitat area. Results show that minimum lake level during the spawning period explained most of the variability (R2 = 0.89) in available spawning habitat for nearshore areas of shallow slope (less than 10 degrees) on the basis of linear correlation. The change in lake level during the spawning period explained most of the variability (R2 = 0.90) in available spawning habitat for areas of steeper slopes (10 to 40 degrees) on the basis of linear correlation. The next step in modeling historic smallmouth bass year-class persistence is to combine this analysis of the effects of lake-level management on habitat availability with meteorological conditions.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
A digital terrain model of bathymetry and shallow-zone bottom-substrate classification for Spednic Lake and estimates of lake-level-dependent habitat to support smallmouth bass persistence modeling