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Conservation decision support for Silver Chub habitat in Lake Erie

August 10, 2023


Conservation and restoration of aquatic species is difficult, especially for rare species, because their habitats are typically disturbed, obscuring the natural ability of the habitat to support each species. The Lake Erie population of Silver Chub Macrhybopsis storeriana struggles to sustain itself in a habitat disturbed by a wide spectrum of anthropogenic factors. Application of multiple model predictions can provide indications of conservation or restoration opportunities for this species.


A combination of models that predict the best potential for Lake Erie habitat to support Silver Chub and the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on that population were used to identify habitat conditions throughout the western aquatic lake unit.


As many as 76 combinations of best habitat potential and disturbance conditions were present, but the best opportunities occurred in <12% of the study area. Some of the best protection opportunities were farthest offshore, and extensive areas of least disturbed habitat for restoration were near the southern and western shores. The location-specific model predictions provide fine-scale decision support for Silver Chub habitat protection or restoration.


The approach applied here may help identify compatibilities among species to achieve the desirable fish community for Lake Erie and reconcile conflicting management actions.

Publication Year 2023
Title Conservation decision support for Silver Chub habitat in Lake Erie
DOI 10.1002/nafm.10843
Authors James E. McKenna
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70247678
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center