The decline of walleye populations in the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern and the loss of the younger population of the fishery has been the focus of efforts to understand where in the life cycle that the potential habitat constraints exist. Adjacent to the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern, a stable walleye population is present that utilizes Hoople Creek as a spawning site and serves as a reference for studies on the Raisin River, a historically important walleye spawning area within the Area of Concern. Unusual spring flow conditions have been hampering spawning bed studies in the Raisin River, but progress has been realized in larvae sampling with the collection of data along reaches of the two rivers. Initial interpretations suggest lower numbers of successful larvae in the Raisin, implicating potential spawning or larval habitat constraints. Young of the year sampling has produced extremely low results.
With the introduction of zebra mussels in Lake St. Francis and the resulting increase in water clarity is thought to be a significant contribution to walleye population declines as they prefer turbid conditions. Plans have been prepared for the installation of cribs and concrete pipes at various sites in Lake St. Francis to investigate their effectiveness in increasing habitat values.
Data collection continues with 2010 targeted for the completion of a Walleye Restoration Plan.
For additional information, please contact Chris Critoph, Manager of Environmental Services. firstname.lastname@example.org. or Brendan Jacobs, Fish and Wildlife Monitoring Supervisor. email@example.com.
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