**The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below.  For a copy of the completion report, please contact the GLFC via e-mail or via telephone at 734-662-3209**



State-of-the-Art Approaches for Assessment of Great Lakes Nearshore and Large River Fish Habitat



C.M. Riseng1, L. Wang2, M.J. Wiley1, E. Rutherford2, T. Brenden3


Final Report to the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Great Lakes Fishery Commission


1        School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

2        Institute for Fisheries Research, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and University of Michigan, 212 Museums Annex, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

3        Quantitative Fisheries Center, Michigan State University, 153 Giltner Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824.



April 2008




The Great Lakes coastal zone is utilized for spawning, rearing, foraging and as over-winter refuge for a variety of Great Lakes fishes.  These habitats have received only limited study.  This makes it difficult to evaluate how impacts to these areas could affect Great Lake fisheries.  A wide variety of methods for measuring habitat quantity and quality are available.  However, methods differ in terms of accuracy, spatial and temporal resolution, cost, and applicability to the Great Lakes region.  These differences make it difficult to accurately gauge what method may be most appropriate for a particular research or management objective. In this report, we identified and critiqued the effectiveness of existing techniques used for fisheries habitat assessment, classification, rehabilitation, and management in the Great Lakes, and provided analysis that could be helpful for allocating research and management efforts in the Great Lakes lower riverine and nearshore regions.  We identified several areas that should receive greater attention: real-time monitoring data in large coastal rivers and estuaries; detailed local channel habitat data for coastal rivers; large river floodplain structure and function; high resolution bathymetry and substrate mapping for the Canadian nearshore zones; identification of the optimal methods for using remotely sensed data to inventory coastal wetlands; further research using remote data to estimate coastal productivity and water quality; and development of a Great lakes Coastal Habitat Assessment Framework.  The report identifies technologies and protocols that could be used to address these needs and suggests several pilot projects that could significantly accelerate the development of coastal habitat inventories, assessment, and science in the Great Lakes region