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January 30, 2023

Sharing bathymetry and multi-beam sonar habitat mapping information with US Fish and Wildlife Service.

GLSC’s Anthony Arnold (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and Sam Pecoraro (Chesterton, Indiana) hosted a team of scientists from the US Fish and Wildlife Service-Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office the week of December 5, 2022, to transfer knowledge about bathymetry and habitat mapping with multi-beam sonar. The exchange took place under a larger Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded effort to produce regionally consistent, high-resolution bathymetry and habitat maps on reefs known to be important for spawning by lake trout, lake whitefish, and other trust species. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, and others are using the maps to assess reef condition and identify candidate sites for restoration. USGS and USFWS both conduct mapping with multi-beam sonar units calibrated to the same objective standard, allowing for direct transferability of habitat mapping and classification procedures.