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Fish Habitat Enhancement Strategies for the Huron-Erie Corridor


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Description of Work The main objective of this project is to identify locations within the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers that provide the best opportunities for remediation of fish spawning and nursery habitats, with the ultimate goal of enhancing native fish populations. Information about existing river habitat, current patterns, fish nursery areas, movements, spawning, and early life habitat requirements are being used in adaptive management models to identify areas suitable for creation or restoration of fish habitats. Physical and biological information are being coupled to show where and how habitat restoration will produce the strongest benefits to native fishes at multiple locations in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. This project [...]

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Principal Investigator :
Edward Roseman
Associate Project Chief :
Russell M Strach
Lead Organization :
Great Lakes Science Center

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The Huron-Erie Corridor (HEC) is the connecting channel between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, including the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, and western Lake Erie. The HEC contains the largest freshwater delta in the Great Lakes, supports over 65 species of fish, 16 of which are classified as threatened or endangered, and is one of the busiest navigation centers in the United States. Historically, the HEC supported a highly productive fishery, providing spawning and nursery habitat for 80 fishery species, including lake trout, lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, lake herring, walleye, and yellow perch. Unfortunately, over the last century, fish productivity in the HEC has been dramatically reduced due to construction of shipping channels, which severely altered fish spawning grounds and nursery habitats. The goal of this GLRI project is to enhance native fish populations through restoration of fish spawning and nursery habitats in the HEC and St. Clair and Detroit Rivers Areas of Concern (AOCs). The USGS is providing vital information to define restoration targets in AOCs, and is measuring restoration success through pre- and post-habitat construction assessments. This work is being completed as part of the greater Huron-Erie Corridor Initiative (, a highly collaborative initiative started in 2004 by the USGS Great Lakes Science Center and over 20 partners to restore habitats and native fish and wildlife species in the corridor, ultimately providing societal, economic, and environmental benefits to the Great Lakes region.

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