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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:40am - 11:00am
Prioritizing Brook Trout Restoration In The Wisconsin Lake Superior Basin

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AUTHORS: Jason Ross*, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ashland FWCO; and Henry Quinlan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ashland FWCO

ABSTRACT: Restoration of fish populations can be often opportunistic and overlook the long-term impacts of climate change. Brook trout, a native species throughout the eastern United States, is sensitive to the small increases in atmospheric temperature due to climate change. Through efforts by the Wisconsin Lake Superior Landscape Restoration Partnership (Wisconsin LSLRP) brook trout team, we developed criteria to rank and prioritize brook trout restoration efforts in HUC 12 subwatersheds located in the Lake Superior basin of Wisconsin. Our criteria included climate change projections of future stream temperature status, current brook trout management priorities by the State, two Tribes, Lake Superior fish management agencies, and NGO’s, and a recently completed evaluation of brook trout population status and distribution. Future stream temperatures accounted for ~25% of the possible points used in ranking while management priorities accounted for ~50% and the current status and distribution of brook trout made up ~25%. We ranked 100 subwatersheds and selected the top 20 as priority brook trout conservation and restoration areas. Federal agencies including the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service and the DOI U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are allocating funds to this effort. Next steps include identification of specific project areas which will occur through outreach to local landowners. Focusing restoration in priority areas with considerations of future changes in climate is integral to the sustainability of brook trout and other cold water fish species.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:40am - 11:00am EST
Vandenberg A