Habitat and human influences on larval fish assemblages in Northern Lake Huron coastal marsh bays

TitleHabitat and human influences on larval fish assemblages in Northern Lake Huron coastal marsh bays
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHook TO, Eagan NM, Webb PW
JournalWetlands
Volume21
Issue2
Pagination281-291
KeywordsSPAWNING
Abstract

Great Lakes coastal marshes serve as spawning areas for adult and nurseries for young-of-year fishes, but the capacity of these habitats to facilitate fish reproduction is threatened due to their continued destruction and degradation. In order to appreciate the consequences of marsh loss and degradation, we collected fish larvae with icthyoplankton nets during the summer of 1997 and 1998 in three coastal marsh bays in Les Cheneaux, northern Lake Huron. In addition, we obtained several metrics of human activities and local habitat features (vegetation, water temperature, and substrate slope) and evaluated the importance of these metrics in structuring local larval fish assemblages. Our study indicated that local habitat features strongly and directly affected local larval fish assemblages in Les Cheneaux, while human activities did not. However, human activities may have altered local habitats in Les Cheneaux, thus indirectly impacting local larval fish assemblages.