Advancing aquatic vegetation management for fish

Lake and Reservoir Management Journal:

Despite the known linkage between aquatic plants and fish communities, research that quanti- fies the relationship between aquatic habitat and fisheries management is lacking, particularly for lakes. Lake management is often driven by recreational interests and fails to evaluate out- comes or identify conservation benefits. Effective management of vegetation to benefit fisheries will require information on how fish utilize aquatic plant stands, as well as how they are affected by changes in vegetation coverage or richness. Management strategies will need to account for both local and large-scale effects on aquatic plant habitat. Studies that assess the economic ben- efits of aquatic plants to fisheries will provide support for sustainable aquatic vegetation man- agement approaches. Finally, natural resources managers (including both aquatic botanists and fisheries biologists) will have to collaborate to identify priorities to implement and evaluate vege- tation management activities. Marine seagrass and fisheries research is presented as a means to provide guidance on aquatic plant inventory and monitoring, as well as potential research opportunities to better understand aquatic plant and fish relationships and the implications for lake management.

This article is available as a pdf for a limited time at this link.