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FISHMAP ON-LINE: A WEB APPLICATION SUPPORTING SCIENCE-BASED DECISIONS CONCERNING FISH MOVEMENT AND PASSAGE
Robert L. McLaughlin1, Michael L. Jones2, Nicholas E. Mandrak3, Deborah Stacey4
1Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 Canada
2Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824-1222 USA
3Centre of Expertise for Aquatic Risk Assessment, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 Canada
4Department of Computing and Information Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 Canada
The Great Lakes Fish Migration and Passage (FishMaP) knowledge base (http://fishmap.uoguelph.ca/) is an on-line tool summarizing the migration and passage biology of fishes inhabiting the Laurentian Great Lakes. Dams represent one of the commonest human alterations of riverscapes. Decisions regarding their construction, removal, and modification for fish passage are increasing in frequency and often controversial. FishMaP allows users to obtain a fish species list for a tributary by selecting a tertiary watershed, a tributary name, a fish faunal region with a lake, or a customized list of species selected from a list of fish species inhabiting the Great Lakes basin. For species in the list, the knowledge base summarizes information on conservation designations, rarity, propensity to inhabit lotic environments, migratory tendencies, sensitivity to barriers and fast flows, use of fishways and culverts, and swimming performance. Users can select reports summarizing information about each species for a specified topic (e.g. migratory tendencies) (species by topic report) or summarizing information about each topic for a specified species (topic by species report). Within report types, information can be organized by common or scientific species names. For each table in a report, clicking the help button provided will reveal an information box describing the table’s contents. Where appropriate, clicking on the table entries will reveal the list of literature sources where the information was obtained. FishMaP has been made available on-line to help stakeholders from management agencies, academia, consulting firms, NGO’s, and the general public reach more informed and scientifically defensible decisions regarding the management of dams and fishways.