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Tuesday, January 26 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Development of Indiana’s Reservoir Enhancement Program Through The Creation of a Habitat Enhancement Zone

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AUTHORS: Sandra Clark-Kolaks*, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: In many Midwest states, including Indiana, large reservoirs are highly utilized by anglers. Also, similar to most reservoirs in the Midwest, reservoirs in Indiana are aging and aquatic habitat is deteriorating or nonexistent. Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working to create a reservoir aquatic habitat enhancement program similar to other Midwest states using artificial structures: crib structures, rock piles, Georgia cubes, brush piles, and felled shoreline trees. General recommendations of the number of structures to place in a complex (i.e. 20 cribs per acre) are widely available but the question of how much aquatic habitat is needed is still unanswered. Indiana DNR is attempting to use a quantitative measure of habitat enhancement by calculating a Habitat Enhancement Zone (HEZ). The HEZ is the surface area for the portion of the lake with adequate oxygen levels for fish but deep enough not to obstruct boats. The HEZ is calculated using detailed bathometric maps which are created using Lowrance HDS depth finder and BioBase software. All artificial structures will be placed within this HEZ. We created an impact acreage for structure complexes (i.e. 20 cribs per acre) based on an area slightly greater than the complex surface area due to habitat created along the edges of the structures. Other structures, like brush piles and felled shoreline trees; where documentation of surface area is not available, the best estimate of the area of habitat created was based on an area slightly larger than the structure (length of tree, etc.). Based on these individual structure impact acreages, Indiana DNR hopes to increase available habitat by 5% to 20% in the Habitat Enhancement Zone in project lakes.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST