Implementation of a gap analysis: comparing historical and contemporary coregonine habitat use in the Great Lakes

Contributing Authors

Cory Brant (USGS, & Karen Alofs (University of Michigan,

Project Description

Understanding and comparing historic and contemporary habitat use and distributions of coregonines (Gap Analysis, Box 2) has been deemed essential to inform all boxes (Planning Phase) of the Great Lakes coregonine restoration framework (CRF). We are requesting support to implement the Box 2 (Gap Analysis) methodology which is currently in review by the Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) committees and is on track to be introduced to the Council of Lake Committees October 19-20, 2022 for their approval. The gap methodology was developed by the Gap Analysis Science Team, a highly collaborative team of scientists representing Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Chippewas of Nawash, Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, Michigan DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Michigan, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The gap methodology is broken into three subtasks: Subtask I - collect and database sources containing coregonine spawning occurrence and habitat data (objectives related to this task are currently underway through a 2021-funded GLRI grant, work which will leverage the work proposed here), Subtask II - Model and map predicted and actual spawning locations based on habitat variables and data collected in Subtask I, and Subtask III – conduct a gap analysis that compares historical and contemporary populations and habitats using models and maps developed in Subtask II. We anticipate the first year of this work, specifically on implementation of Subtasks II-III, will begin soon (based on our previous year’s RFP that was selected for funding for one year), so we are requesting funding for one year to continue implementation of this work.