Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Islands in the ice stream: were spawning habitats for native salmonids in the Great Lakes created by paleo-ice streams?

July 14, 2016

Lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis and cisco Coregonus artedi are salmonid fishes native to the Laurentian Great Lakes that spawn on rocky substrates in the fall and early winter. After comparing the locations of spawning habitat for these species in the main basin of Lake Huron with surficial substrates and the hypothesized locations of fast-flowing Late Wisconsinan paleo-ice streams, we hypothesize that much of the spawning habitat for these species in Lake Huron is the result of deposition and erosion by paleo-ice streams. This hypothesis may represent a new framework for the identification and protection of spawning habitat for these native species, some of which are currently rare or extirpated in some of the Great Lakes. We further suggest that paleo-ice streams may have been responsible for the creation of native salmonid spawning habitat elsewhere in the Great Lakes and in other glaciated landscapes.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Islands in the ice stream: were spawning habitats for native salmonids in the Great Lakes created by paleo-ice streams?
DOI 10.1111/faf.12173
Authors Stephen Riley, Thomas R. Binder, Taaja R. Tucker, John Menzies, Nick Eyles, John Janssen, Andrew M. Muir, Peter C. Esselman, Nigel J. Wattrus, Charles C. Krueger
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fish and Fisheries
Series Number
Index ID 70171074
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center