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Monday, January 29 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
SYMPOSIA-05: Using Aquatic Landscape Ecology to Inform Lake Habitat Management at Multiple Scales

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AUTHORS. Kevin Wehrly, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Joe Nohner, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; James Breck, University of Michigan; Tim Cross, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Peter Jacobson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources;

ABSTRACT. Traditional fish habitat management in lakes is based on a local view wherein habitat features are assessed within a lake and management strategies are developed on a lake-by-lake basis.  While this local view has provided valuable information on fish-habitat relationships, it presents a number of challenges.  Watershed and regional factors also influence lake characteristics and play a role in determining the amount and quality of fish habitat.  Therefore, management efforts based solely on in-situ habitat features may result in an incomplete picture of a lake’s ecological potential and a focus on addressing symptoms rather than underlying causes.  In addition, the abundance of lakes in many regions limits annual sampling to only a fraction of waterbodies, yet agencies are often responsible for managing 1,000s of lakes.  Consequently, developing management strategies on a lake-by-lake basis limits the development of state-level and multistate habitat management strategies.  We argue that viewing lake habitat from a landscape ecology perspective can overcome a number of the challenges faced by traditional fish habitat management and enable the development of management strategies across large geographic extents.   In this review, we synthesize existing efforts to manage lake habitat from a landscape perspective, use examples from the Midwest Glacial Lakes Fish Habitat Partnership to demonstrate how a landscape ecology approach can inform resource management at multiple scales, and discuss challenges and future needs for managing lakes from a landscape perspective.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm CST