Spatio-statistical modeling and field validation of coregonine spawning and nursery locations for the Great Lakes, including connecting channels and major tributaries

Contributing Authors

Edward Roseman (USGS,, Hannah Schaefer (University of Toledo), Zachary Amidon (University of Toledo), Robin DeBruyne (USGS), David Bunnell (USGS), Brian Weidel (USGS), Dimitry Gorsky (USFWS), Christine Mayer (University of Toledo)

Executive Summary

This research builds on the spawning habitat inventory work [GLRI: Inventory and assessment of coregonine spawning locations in lakes Erie and Ontario, including connecting channels] by using data gleaned from the previous study to develop descriptive and predictive models of coregonine habitat in Lakes Erie and Ontario. Random forest classification models and classification and regression tree procedures used extant information about coregonine spawning and nursery habitats to predict where habitat may have existed historically or contemporarily (Schaefer et al.). Results from larval coregonine sampling was used to construct hydrodynamic larval transport models to demonstrate pelagic lake whitefish larval movements in western Lake Erie and make inferences about the influence of physical factors on larval distribution, abundance, and match-mismatch with habitat features in Lake Erie (Amidon et al.) and adjacent Great Lakes.
Contemporary and Historic Dynamics of Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) Eggs, Larvae, and Juveniles Suggest Recruitment Bottleneck during First Growing Season | Annales Zoologici Fennici
Predicting Spawning Habitat for Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis and Cisco Coregonus artedi in the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Regions using Classification and Regression Tree (CART) and Random Forest Models | University of Michigan
Historical Spawning Sites for Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and Cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Lake Erie and Connecting Channels, 1850-1960 (ver. 2.0, July 2022) | USGS
Historical Spawning Sites for Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and Cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Lake Ontario and Connecting Channels, 1860-1970 | USGS

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Restoration Framework Phase

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