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U.S. Geological Survey - Great Lakes Science Center

Publications

  • K.T. Holeck, L.G. Rudstam, J.M. Watkins, F.J. Luckey, J.R. Lantry, B.F. Lantry, E.S. Trometer, M.A. Koops, and T.B. Johnson. 2015 Lake Ontario water quality during the 2003 and 2008 intensive field years and comparison with long-term trends. Taylor & Francis . Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management 18 (1). pp. 7-17.
    Phosphorus loading declined between the 1970s and the 1990s, leading to oligotrophication of the offshore waters of Lake Ontario during that time period. Using lake-wide data from the intensive field years of 2003 and 2008 and from available long–term data sets on several trophic state indicators (total phosphorus (TP), soluble reactive silica (SRSi), chlorophyll a and Secchi disc transparency (SDT)), we tested the hypothesis that oligotrophication of the offshore waters of Lake Ontario has continued in the 2000s. Significant differences between 2003 and 2008 include higher spring (April) TP, SRSi, and SDT in 2008, lower summer (July-August) SDT in 2008, higher summer chlorophyll a in 2008, and lower fall (September) TP, SRSi, and chlorophyll a in 2008. The decline in SRSi from spring to summer was greater in 2008 than in 2003. Change point and regression analyses on the long-term data revealed no trend in spring TP since 1996, in summer chlorophyll a since 1994, in spring SDT since 1998, in spring SRSi or SRSi decline from spring to summer since 1999, or in summer SDT since 2001. Neither the comparison of the 2003 and 2008 surveys nor the analysis of the long-term data supported our hypothesis of continued oligotrophication of the offshore of Lake Ontario in the 2000s.
    Contribution #1900
  • Matthew McLean, Edward F. Roseman, Jeremy J. Pritt, Gregory Kennedy, Bruce A. Manny 2015 Artificial reefs and reef restoration in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 41 (1). pp. 1-8.

    We reviewed the published literature to provide an inventory of Laurentian Great Lakes artificial reef projects and their purposes. We also sought to characterize physical and biological monitoring for artificial reef projects in the Great Lakes and determine the success of artificial reefs in meeting project objectives. We found records of 6 artificial reefs in Lake Erie, 8 in Lake Michigan, 3 in Lakes Huron and Ontario, and 2 in Lake Superior. We found 9 reefs in Great Lakes connecting channels and 6 reefs in Great Lakes tributaries. Objectives of artificial reef creation have included reducing impacts of currents and waves, providing safe harbors, improving sport-fishing opportunities, and enhancing/restoring fish spawning habitats. Most reefs in the lakes themselves were incidental (not created purposely for fish habitat) or built to improve local sport fishing, whereas reefs in tributaries and connecting channels were more frequently built to benefit fish spawning. Levels of assessment of reef performance varied; but long-term monitoring was uncommon as was assessment of physical attributes. Artificial reefs were often successful at attracting recreational species and spawning fish; however, population-level benefits of artificial reefs are unclear. Stressors such as sedimentation and bio-fouling can limit the effectiveness of artificial reefs as spawning enhancement tools. Our investigation underscores the need to develop standard protocols for monitoring the biological and physical attributes of artificial structures. Further, long-term monitoring is needed to assess the benefits of artificial reefs to fish populations and inform future artificial reef projects.

    Contribution #1899
  • James H. Johnson 2015 Summer Diel Diet and Feeding Periodicity of Four Species of Cyprinids in the Salmon River, New York. University of Notre Dame . The American Midland Naturalist 173 (2). pp. 326-334.

    The diel diet composition and feeding periodicity of Luxilus cornutus (common shiner), Exoglossum maxillingua (cutlip minnow), Semotilus corporalis (fallfish), and Notropis hudsonius (spottail shiner) were examined in the Salmon River, New York over a 24 h period during the summer. Chironomids were the major prey of common shiner (60.6%) and cutlip minnow (54.7%), whereas terrestrial invertebrates (30.0%) and amphipods (38.4%) were the primary food of fallfish and spottail shiner, respectively. Diet overlap was high between common shiner and cutlip minnow (Morisita's index  =  0.88) and moderate between fallfish and common shiner (0.54) and fallfish and cutlip minnow (0.50). Diel temperal variation in diet composition was greatest (0.64) for spottail shiner. Three species exhibited diel variation in food consumption. Fallfish had a distinct feeding peak, whereas peak food consumption of common shiner and cutlip minnow occurred over a more extended period. Spottail shiner did not have a distinct feeding peak but food consumption was highest from 2400 to 0800 h. Each of the four species exhibited some degree of variation in their diel feeding ecology in regards to either diet composition or food consumption.

    Contribution #1898
  • Edward F. Roseman and Robin L. DeBruyne 2015 The renaissance of ecosystem integrity in North American large rivers. John Wiley & Sons . Restoration Ecology 23 (1). pp. 43-45.

    Introduction, no abstract

    Contribution #1897
  • Jared T. Myers, Daniel L. Yule, Michael L. Jones, Tyler D. Ahrenstorff, Thomas R. Hrabik, Randall M. Claramunt, Mark P. Ebener, Eric K. Berglund 2015 Spatial synchrony in cisco recruitment. Elsevier . Fisheries Research 165 pp. 11-21.

    We examined the spatial scale of recruitment variability for disparate cisco (Coregonus artedi) populations in the Great Lakes (n = 8) and Minnesota inland lakes (n = 4). We found that the scale of synchrony was approximately 400 km when all available data were utilized; much greater than the 50-km scale suggested for freshwater fish populations in an earlier global analysis. The presence of recruitment synchrony between Great Lakes and inland lake cisco populations supports the hypothesis that synchronicity is driven by climate and not dispersal. We also found synchrony in larval densities among three Lake Superior populations separated by 25–275 km, which further supports the hypothesis that broad-scale climatic factors are the cause of spatial synchrony. Among several candidate climate variables measured during the period of larval cisco emergence, maximum wind speeds exhibited the most similar spatial scale of synchrony to that observed for cisco. Other factors, such as average water temperatures, exhibited synchrony on broader spatial scales, which suggests they could also be contributing to recruitment synchrony. Our results provide evidence that abiotic factors can induce synchronous patterns of recruitment for populations of cisco inhabiting waters across a broad geographic range, and show that broad-scale synchrony of recruitment can occur in freshwater fish populations as well as those from marine systems.

    Contribution #1896
  • Jeremy J. Pritt, Edward F. Roseman, Jason E. Ross, and Robin L. DeBruyne 2015 Using Larval Fish Community Structure to Guide Long-Term Monitoring of Fish Spawning Activity. Taylor & Francis . North American Journal of Fisheries Management 35 (2). pp. 241-252.

    Larval fishes provide a direct indication of spawning activity and may therefore be useful for long-term monitoring efforts in relation to spawning habitat restoration. However, larval fish sampling can be time intensive and costly. We sought to understand the spatial and temporal structure of larval fish communities in the St. Clair–Detroit River system, Michigan–Ontario, to determine whether targeted larval fish sampling can be made more efficient for long-term monitoring. We found that larval fish communities were highly nested, with lower river segments and late-spring samples containing the highest genus richness of larval fish. We created four sampling scenarios for each river system: (1) using all available data, (2) limiting temporal sampling to late spring, (3) limiting spatial sampling to lower river segments only, and (4) limiting both spatial and temporal sampling. By limiting the spatial extent of sampling to lower river sites and/or limiting the temporal extent to the late-spring period, we found that effort could be reduced by more than 50% while maintaining over 75% of the observed and estimated total genus richness. Similarly, limiting the sampling effort to lower river sites and/or the late-spring period maintained between 65% and 93% of the observed richness of lithophilic-spawning genera and invasive genera. In general, community composition remained consistent among sampling scenarios. Targeted sampling offers a lower-cost alternative to exhaustive spatial and temporal sampling and may be more readily incorporated into long-term monitoring.

    Contribution #1895
  • Muruleedhara N. Byappanahalli, Meredith B. Nevers, Richard L. Whitman, Zhongfu Ge, Dawn Shively, Ashley Spoljaric, Katarzyna Przybyla-Kelly 2015 Wildlife, urban inputs, and landscape configuration are responsible for degraded swimming water quality at an embayed beach. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 41 (1). pp. 156-163.

    Jeorse Park Beach, on southern Lake Michigan, experiences frequent closures due to high Escherichia coli (E. coli) levels since regular monitoring was implemented in 2005. During the summer of 2010, contaminant source tracking techniques, such as the conventional microbial and physical surveys and hydrodynamic models, were used to determine the reasons for poor water quality at Jeorse Park. Fecal indicator bacteria (E. coli, enterococci) were high throughout the season, with densities ranging from 12–2419 (culturable E. coli) and 1–2550 and < 1–5831 (culturable and qPCR enterococci, respectively). Genetic markers for human (Bacteroides HF183) and gull (Catellicoccus marimammalium) fecal contamination were found in 15% and 37% of the samples indicating multiple sources contributing to poor water quality. Nesting colonies of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) have steadily increased since 2005, coinciding with high E. coli levels. A hydrodynamic model indicated that limited circulation allows bacteria entering the embayed area to be retained in nearshore areas; and bacterial resuspension from sand and stranded beach wrack during storm events compounds the problem. The integration of hydrodynamics, expanded use of chemical and biological markers, as well as more complex statistical multivariate techniques can improve microbial source tracking, informing management actions to improve recreational water quality. Alterations to embayed structures to improve circulation and reduce nuisance algae as well as growing native plants to retain sand to improve beach morphometry are among some of the restoration strategies under consideration in ongoing multi-agency collaborations.

    Contribution #1894
  • Andrew Michael Muir, Michael Jay Hansen, Charles Richard Bronte, and Charles Conrad Krueger 2015 If Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus is 'the most diverse vertebrate', what is the lake charr Salvelinus namaycush?. John Wiley & Sons . Fish and Fisheries 17 (4). pp. 1194–1207.

    Teleost fishes are prominent vertebrate models of evolution, illustrated among old-world radiations by the Cichlidae of East African Great Lakes and new-world radiations by the circumpolar Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus. Herein, we describe variation in lake charrS. namaycush morphology, life history, physiology and ecology, as another example of radiation. The lake charr is restricted to northern North America, where it originated from glacial refugia and diversified in large lakes. Shallow and deepwater morphs arose in multiple lakes, with a large-bodied shallow-water ‘lean’ morph in shallow inshore depths, a small-bodied mid-water ‘humper’ morph on offshore shoals or banks, a robust, large-bodied moderate to deep-water ‘redfin’; morph and a large-bodied deep-water ‘siscowet’ morph at depths > 100 m. Eye position, gape size, and gillraker length and spacing adapted for feeding on different-sized prey, with piscivorous morphs (leans, siscowets and presumably redfins) reaching larger asymptotic size than invertivorous morphs (humpers). Lean morphs are light in colour, whereas deepwater morphs are drab and dark, although the pattern is reversed in dark tannic lakes. Morphs shift from benthic to pelagic feeding at a length of 400–490 mm. Phenotypic differences in locomotion, buoyancy and lipid metabolism evolved into different mechanisms for buoyancy regulation, with lean morphs relying on hydrodynamic lift and siscowet morphs relying on hydrostatic lift. We suggest that the Salvelinus genus, rather than the species S. alpinus, is a diverse genus that should be the subject of comparative studies of processes causing divergence and adaptation among member species that may lead to a more complete evolutionary conceptual model.

    Contribution #1893
  • James H. Johnson, James F. Farquhar, Rodger M. Klindt, Irene Mazzocchi, Alastair Mathers 2015 From yellow perch to round goby: A review of double-crested cormorant diet and fish consumption at Three St. Lawrence River Colonies, 1999-2013. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research

    The number of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the upper St. Lawrence River has increased markedly since the early 1990s. In 1999, a binational study was initiated to examine the annual diet composition and fish consumption of cormorants at colonies in the upper river. Since 1999, 14,032 cormorant pellets, collected from May through September each year, have been examined from St. Lawrence River colonies to estimate fish consumption and determine temporal and spatial variation in diet. Seasonal variation in diet composition within a colony was low. Prior to 2006 yellow perch was the primary fish consumed by cormorants in the upper St. Lawrence River. Round goby were first observed in cormorant diets in 2003 and by 2006 were the main fish consumed at two of the three colonies. The time interval it took from the first appearance of round goby in the diet at a colony to when goby were the dominant prey species varied by island, ranging from two to five years. Daily fish consumption at each cormorant colony increased significantly from the pre-round goby to post-round goby period. The mean annual biomass of yellow perch consumed decreased significantly during the post-round goby period at the three colonies. Reduced consumption of yellow perch by cormorants may alleviate suspected localized impacts on perch near some of the larger river colonies.

    Contribution #1891
  • James H. Johnson, James F. Farquhar, Rodger M. Klindt, Irene Mazzocchi, Alastair Mathers 2015 From yellow perch to round goby: A review of double-crested cormorant diet and fish consumption at Three St. Lawrence River Colonies, 1999-2013. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research 41 (1). pp. 259-265.

    The number of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the upper St. Lawrence River has increased markedly since the early 1990s. In 1999, a binational study was initiated to examine the annual diet composition and fish consumption of cormorants at colonies in the upper river. Since 1999, 14,032 cormorant pellets, collected from May through September each year, have been examined from St. Lawrence River colonies to estimate fish consumption and determine temporal and spatial variation in diet. Seasonal variation in diet composition within a colony was low. Prior to 2006 yellow perch was the primary fish consumed by cormorants in the upper St. Lawrence River. Round goby were first observed in cormorant diets in 2003 and by 2006 were the main fish consumed at two of the three colonies. The time interval it took from the first appearance of round goby in the diet at a colony to when goby were the dominant prey species varied by island, ranging from two to five years. Daily fish consumption at each cormorant colony increased significantly from the pre-round goby to post-round goby period. The mean annual biomass of yellow perch consumed decreased significantly during the post-round goby period at the three colonies. Reduced consumption of yellow perch by cormorants may alleviate suspected localized impacts on perch near some of the larger river colonies.

    Contribution #1891

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