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Return of the Gentle Giants: Huron-Erie Corridor Fish Habitat Restoration

Information presented is factual at the time of creation.
If no transcript and/or closed-caption is available, please notify us.
Narrator: The St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, also known as the Huron-Erie Corridor, are the international waters that connect Lake Huron to Lake Erie. Environmental changes in the Corridor over time have resulted in a loss of habitat for fish and other organisms. This video is focusing on the successful St. Clair River fish habitat restoration project and the science and collaboration that made it a success!

Dr. Bruce Manny: We were so surprised that lake sturgeon found the habitat and were spawning on it even though it wasn’t completely constructed. We wanted to make sure that the materials we used were suitable for fish spawning. We have been perfecting the habitat materials and determined that a certain size and shape of rock was important to maximize the space between the rocks. If there is too much space, the eggs could be washed out by the water; but if the spaces are too small, the eggs would not be adequately protected from fish and other organisms.

The Project Team developed a plan and methods to build new spawning habitat to increase lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, walleye, and other native fish populations.

We learned that water flow, water depth, and water temperature were all important in the placement of a spawning reef.

Another important factor is the available nursery habitat downstream that is crucial for the survival of young fish produced on the spawning reefs.

One of the most important components of these habitat restoration projects is the monitoring that we do before and after the reef is constructed. In this way, we know whether any fish were there using the area before we construct the reef, and we can document the success of our spawning habitat projects.

This video shows that there were lake sturgeon eggs among the rocks and adult lake sturgeon in the area – before the construction was even complete!


Dr. Jennifer Read: Human alterations in the system in the late 19th and early 20th century resulted in many changes. One of the largest was the result of widening and deepening for commercial navigation. In the Detroit River alone, a major modification in the lower river resulted in the removal of over 300 million cubic meters of limestone rock and other material from the bottom of the river. The result was a dramatic reduction of fish populations throughout the entire Huron-to-Erie corridor.

In 2004, a collaborative group of University, Government, Industry, and non-governmental organizations established the Huron-Erie Corridor initiative.

The first two projects, one at Belle Isle in the Detroit River, the other at Fighting Island, also in the Detroit River, but in the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge have significantly improved fish habitat.

And we have seen fish responding to our latest project in the St. Claire delta while it was under construction.

Fish habitat restoration is a key part of U.S. EPA’s Strategy to restore impaired, beneficial uses in the system. These restoration efforts will provide cultural and economic benefits, bolster commercial and sport fishing and contribute to a higher quality of life for the people living in the corridor.

All of these projects are part of our long-term goal to replace some of the habitat that was removed 100 years ago to support commercial navigation. The next steps for the partnership are to choose the restoration sites base on this model and build on our past successes. This is science in action, and this is the kind of research project where we’re not just performing research to learn about new things, but we’re applying the results for the benefit of the larger community.

Our approach in the Huron-Erie Corridor is a potential model for success for other locations. We are making sure that our work builds on the science that has gone before, so we are learning and adapting as we move forward.

Narrator: The Huron-Erie Corridor is the epicenter of fish populations and fish habitat restoration in the Central Great Lakes. The fish spawning habitat restoration successes in these connecting channels can have positive impacts on Lakes Erie and Huron as well as the entire Great Lakes basin.

The Huron-Erie Corridor Initiative partners will continue to work together to manage, restore, enhance, and protect the living resources and their habitats in these connecting waterways.

Details

Title: Return of the Gentle Giants: Huron-Erie Corridor Fish Habitat Restoration

Description:

The St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, also known as the Huron-Erie Corridor, are the international waters that connect Lake Huron to Lake Erie. Environmental changes in the Corridor over time have resulted in a loss of habitat for fish and other organisms. This video is focusing on the successful St. Clair River fish habitat restoration project and the science and collaboration that made it a success!

The Huron-Erie Corridor is the epicenter of fish populations and fish habitat restoration in the Central Great Lakes. The fish spawning habitat restoration successes in these connecting channels can have positive impacts on Lakes Erie and Huron as well as the entire Great Lakes basin.

The Huron-Erie Corridor Initiative partners will continue to work together to manage, restore, enhance, and protect the living resources and their habitats in these connecting waterways.

Location: Reston, VA, USA

Date Taken: 8/23/2012

Length: 6:28

Video Producer: Don Becker , U.S. Geological Survey


Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

Partners:
BASF Corporation
Central Michigan University
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup
Detroit Riverkeeper
DTE Energy
Environment Canada
Essex Region Conservation Authority
Friends of the Detroit River
Great Lakes Commission
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Great Lakes Fishery Trust
Herpetological Resource and Management
JJR LLC
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Sea Grant
Michigan State University
Michigan Technical University
Michigan Wildlife Conservancy
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Sturgeon for Tomorrow
The Nature Conservancy
University of Toledo
University of Windsor
University of Michigan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey
Walpole Island First Nation
WIFN
Wildlife Habitat Council

Produced by:
Elizabeth LaPorte
Sandra Morrison
Don Becker

Narrated by:
Sandra Morrison

Video Production and Post Production:
Don Becker

Special Thanks:
Dr. Jennifer Read
Dr. Bruce Manny
David Ozman
Dr. Leon Carl
Jeffrey Allen
Lynn Vaccaro

Produced on behalf of all of the contributors and stakeholders

Source:

Visit the The Huron-Erie Corridor website for more information.

File Details:

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In: Water collection

Tags: Biology Fish Huron-ErieCorridor LakeSturgeon LakeWhitefish Reefs Walleye

 

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