Developing decision-support tools to enhance aquatic connectivity in the Great Lakes Basin: results of a workshop sponsored by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust
March 10, 2016 - Author: Jonathon Beard; Mark Coscarelli; Molly J. Good; Tammy Newcomb
Journal or Book Title: Great Lakes Fishery Trust Workshop Proceedings
Page Number(s): 1-33
Year Published: 2014Interest in reconnecting riverine habitat (aquatic connectivity) through barrier removal and other fish passage projects (e.g., bypass channels) continues to increase, and funding sources are becoming more readily available in Michigan and other Great Lakes states. The most common barriers to aquatic connectivity are dams and road-stream crossings that prevent natural stream function and organism passage. Dams and road-stream crossings each present unique issues for resource managers as they seek to achieve multiple, sometimes conflicting, environmental outcomes. Within the Great Lakes basin, researchers conservatively estimate that more than 7,000 dams and 265,000 road-crossings may serve as barriers to migratory fish (Januchowski-Hartley et al., 2013). The resource management community has reached general consensus that removing barriers to aquatic organism passage above the lowermost barrier is a priority to enhance ecosystem health. This includes dams upstream of the lowermost barrier and almost all road-stream crossings, which rarely serve as an effective barrier to invasive species, but can impede success of native and desirable nonnative species. Given the number of road-stream crossings that may serve as barriers to fish passage and the desire for aquatic connectivity, the resource management community has identified the need to develop decision-support tools to prioritize connectivity projects within and among watersheds and deploy scarce resources more strategically.
Type of Publication: Meeting/Symposia/Seminar/Workshop Proceedings
Publisher: Great Lakes Fishery Trust