Artificial reef placement as a method for removing a beneficial use impairment within the St. Clair-Detroit River System.

Stacey Ireland
USGS Great Lakes Science Center
Stacey Ireland graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 and began working for the Great Lakes Science Center in 2010 on the St. Clair-Detroit River (SCDRS) Initiative, formerly known as the Huron-Erie Corridor (HEC) Initiative. She currently leads a crew on the St. Clair River which monitors spawning and early life use of recently constructed artificial reefs in the SCDRS.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Additional Contributors: James Boase, USFWS; Jaquelyn Craig, USGS GLSC; Justin Chiotti, USFWS; Robin DeBruyne, USGS GLSC; Richard Drouin, OMNR; Jason Fischer, USGS GLSC; Greg Kennedy, USGS GLSC; Jennifer Read, Michigan Sea Grant; Edward Roseman, USGS GLSC; Lynn Vaccaro, Michigan Sea Grant

The St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS) is a Great Lakes connecting channel that was degraded by pollution, channelization, industrialization, and residential development which reduced the system’s quality and removed much of the natural rocky substrate that native fish rely on for spawning habitat. Ultimately, these rivers were designated as areas of concern (AOCs) with multiple beneficial use impairments (BUIs). To remove these BUIs, several artificial spawning reefs were constructed and monitored by a collaborative multi-agency partnership. Currently, six reefs are monitored for fish spawning, and three sites are being evaluated for possible future reef construction. Results show that lake sturgeon have spawned on all reefs except Belle isle and viable eggs of lake whitefish, walleye, troutperch, white bass/perch, and native suckers have also been collected. Continued assessment of fish spawning habitat and fish populations will reveal how constructed reefs mature over time and how populations respond to the restored habitat.

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