USGS spawning habitat restoration for the State- and Provincially-threatened lake sturgeon in the international St. Clair River.
On May 25, 2012, the USGS Great Lakes Science Center Dive Team documented first ever egg deposition by State- and Provincially-threatened lake sturgeon on a man-made spawning reef constructed in the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River Area of Concern, while the reef was still being constructed.
The Middle Channel reef project is supported by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Led by Michigan Sea Grant, this project is part of a long-term collaboration among federal, state and private groups interested in restoring valuable native fish populations in the Huron-Erie Corridor. USGS water flow velocity and depth models were used to determine ideal reef placement within the river. Further, USGS is leading the pre-/post- reef construction egg and larval fish assessments.