Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin

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Managing Fish, Wildlife, and Plants

About This Chapter

The Goal

Maintain resilient and diverse communities of fish, wildlife, and plants in the Lake Champlain Basin.

Introduction

Wetlands improve water quality and provide critical habitat.

The Lake Champlain Basin is a large freshwater ecosystem with a rich diversity and abundance of native fish, wildlife, and plants. These living natural resources occupy a mosaic of interconnected aquatic and terrestrial habitats, including broad open waters, tributaries, wetlands, forests, agricultural lands, and other areas. The natural resources of this ecosystem provide tremendous social, recreational, economic, and environmental benefits to the Lake Champlain Basin.

Fish, wildlife, and plants throughout the Basin are intrinsically linked in a food web, from microscopic plankton to fish, birds, other wildlife, and plants. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are at the base of the food web and are linked to keystone predators such as game fish and birds of prey through a complex relationship of intermediary predator and prey species. The structure, function, and balance of the food web are closely connected to water quality, habitat diversity, and human health. Lakes, ponds, and streams provide habitat for many different species of fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles, some of which are threatened or endangered. Wetland areas provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife while also improving water quality by serving as sinks for nutrients that would be delivered to the Lake through the tributary network. Wetlands also help control flooding, protect groundwater and drinking water supplies, reduce erosion, and protect shorelines. Rivers and streams draining upland portions of the Basin complete the network, linking upland terrestrial and aquatic habitats to floodplains and associated wetlands and, ultimately, Lake Champlain itself. The abundance of fish, wildlife, and plant communities within the Basin attract a wide array of recreational users, including hunters, anglers, trappers, paddlers, hikers, and bird watchers, providing a significant economic benefit to the regional economy. Natural species diversity is a highly valued part of the region’s natural heritage and a critical component of the ecosystem that we all share.

Atlantic salmon

The native flora and fauna of the Lake Champlain Basin have changed significantly during the last few centuries, both in diversity and abundance. New species have been introduced to the ecosystem, others have been lost, and some are more dominant now than historically. Some species, such as original strains of lake trout, will not likely return to Lake Champlain in their native form. Losses of native keystone species like the lake trout, Atlantic salmon, and American eels have a significant detrimental impact on the ecosystem, changing the natural balance of the Lake Champlain food web. Management agencies throughout the Lake Champlain Basin are working to restore many of these species to self-sustaining populations.

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Threats

The Lake Champlain Basin provides a rich and varied habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species and boasts healthy natural communities. These natural communities face many threats, including loss of wetland and riparian habitat functionality, overexploitation of highly valued species (e.g., lake trout, Atlantic salmon), and introduction of new species to the ecosystem (e.g., alewife). Changes to any component of the ecosystem can have substantial impacts on the rest of the ecosystem. Loss of wetlands to agricultural, residential, or commercial development has far reaching impacts including loss of critical wildlife habitat, reduced flood storage, and reduced pollutant filtering. Dams and improper culvert placement can reduce fish habitat by interrupting passage from one stream segment to another. Poorly planned land development also can lead to reduced habitat connectivity, increased erosion and sedimentation, stream bank instability, and increased nutrient and sediment loadings in rivers resulting in further degradation and loss of aquatic habitats.

Invasive species, both plant and animal, can change the balance of the natural ecosystem. Invasive plant species such as water chestnut may outcompete and displace native species. This, in turn, can disrupt the food web that waterfowl and other wildlife rely on. Invasive animal species also have the potential to impact the food web. Alewife, for example, can become a primary food source for native Lake Champlain salmonids, but a diet featuring alewife has been shown to inhibit the natural reproduction of native Lake Champlain salmonids and also may alter the zooplankton community, which could affect the entire food web within the Lake.

Cormorant drying wings.

Unmanaged native species also have the potential to impact the balance of the ecosystem. Uncontrolled cormorant populations result in loss of nesting habitat for other bird species, including heron and tern. An unmanaged sea lamprey population would result in increased wounding rates on salmonids and ultimately a decline in their populations in the Lake, subsequently impacting other critical components of the food web. Efforts to restore the Lake Champlain fishery rely heavily on the success of the sea lamprey management program.

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Progress

Much work is being done through the collaborative efforts of many partners, from federal and state agencies to local volunteer and nonprofit groups and private sector entities, to protect the fish, wildlife, and plant resources of the Basin. Local implementation grants administered through the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) have funded local watershed groups to implement projects to stabilize eroding stream banks, establish stream bank plantings, and manage invasive plant species. The Nature Conservancy continues to partner with the LCBP, the states of New York and Vermont, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to identify valuable wetlands and to identify funding sources to permanently protect these areas. Similar efforts have been undertaken by Basin partners in Québec. Conservation cost-share programs target agricultural lands to help create conservation easements, set aside wetlands, and establish vegetated buffers along streams. Aggressive long-term management of water chestnut in South Lake Champlain has made great strides in pushing its range southward and helping to reestablish a balanced community structure in some areas.

Miles of riparian habitat improved in Lake Champlain Basin, 1995-2009.

Acres of wetland habitat improved in Lake Champlain Basin, 1991-2009. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative regularly monitors populations of landlocked Atlantic salmon, lake trout, brown trout, walleye, and northern pike, as well as aquatic organism passageways to evaluate fish movement and the success of stocking programs. The goal of the Cooperative is to restore and maintain salmonid and other fish communities through natural reproduction, supplemented by stocking when necessary. The salmonid fishery has not been developing as well as expected in large part due to sea lamprey parasitism. However, a comprehensive long-term sea lamprey control program has recently begun to show some signs of success. Although wounding rates for both lake trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon remain above target values, there is some indication of a downward trend approaching the targets set by the Cooperative (Fisheries Technical Committee 2009).

Sea lamprey wounding rates on lake trout and Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain.

Progress has been made in providing passage upstream for spawning and corridors for habitat. Stream crossing structures in two New York watersheds have been assessed and inventoried. Three dams have been removed in Vermont in the last four years and thirteen aquatic organism passage barriers will be removed in New York and Vermont in the next year.

spiny softshell turtle

Biodiversity is also changing within the Basin. Seventeen additional species of breeding birds have been discovered in Vermont since 1981  including bald eagles, great egrets, and sandhill cranes  as documented in the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas. Breeding bald eagle populations are increasing in the Lake Champlain region. A record number of bald eagles were observed in a January 2008 survey on the New York side, although a similar survey in 2009 yielded a record low (winter aerial surveys have been conducted since 2006; Nye 2009). Several other species, such as the pink heel splitter (a native mussel), common tern, lake sturgeon, and spiny softshell turtle, are listed as rare, threatened, or endangered and are under state or federal protection. Many state, provincial, and federal programs offer financial and technical assistance to private landowners to improve wildlife habitat and stabilize stream banks for protection of these species. Active cormorant management programs have helped reduce competition and restore nesting habitat, resulting in an increase in native nesting colonial birds.

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Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Management Objectives, Priority Actions, and Tasks

Considerable efforts are underway to protect the fish, wildlife, and plant resources of the Basin. However, increasing pressures continue to threaten the Basin ecosystem through habitat loss or fragmentation, as well as degradation. A continual collaborative effort among all of the LCBP partners is necessary to successfully address these threats and to restore and maintain the rich diversity of native fish, wildlife, and plant communities that we currently enjoy in the Lake Champlain Basin. Many examples of coordination among these agencies to enhance application of an ecosystem approach to management and conservation in the Lake Champlain Basin could be cited. This chapter sets broad conservation objectives and describes natural resource agencies work to protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. The priority actions and tasks below highlight the efforts of LCBP partners to protect, restore, and maintain the aquatic flora and fauna of the Lake Champlain Basin, with a special emphasis on biota within the lake.

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Citations

Fisheries Technical Committee, 2009. Strategic Plan for Lake Champlain Fisheries. Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative, USFWS, Essex Junction, VT

Nye, P. 2009. New York State Bald Eagle Report 2009. New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

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Chapter Objectives

  • Protect and enhance aquatic, wetland, riparian, and terrestrial habitats.
  • Restore and maintain a robust fish community and fishery.
  • Restore and manage water-dependent wildlife and plants.
  • Manage native fish, wildlife, and plant species that become a nuisance.
  • Use biological indicators to monitor change in the Lake Champlain ecosystem.
  • Protect and enhance aquatic, wetland, riparian, and terrestrial habitats

Associated Actions / Tasks

Click Expand Icon Next to each Action to see the associated Tasks

  • Completed Completed Task
  • Active Active Task
  • Inactive Inactive Task

Expand 6.1) Develop a list of high-priority habitats in need of protection.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Hold a workshop or series of workshops by the end of 2010 to identify types and locations of high-priority habitats for conservation and to identify priority area criteria with the help of partners by 2010. Apply those criteria to existing knowledge of Basin resources to begin to identify those specific habitats and their locations in need of protection by the end of 2011. New York will contribute information on critical fish spawning and migration routes to help this effort View Task Comments 6.1.1 LCBP, New York 02-28-11 Active
Identify high-priority habitats for migratory birds in the Bird Conservation Region 13 plan. View Task Comments 6.1.2 USFWS 04-24-14 Active
Staff at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge will work with partners, the public, and landowners to develop a Preliminary Project Proposal (PPP), to identify high-priority habitats, especially those along the Missisquoi River corridor, the lakeshore of Lake Champlain, and other important habitats in the Missisquoi River watershed by 2010. View Task Comments 6.1.3 USFWS 08-20-14 Active
Staff at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge will work with partners, the public, and landowners to develop a Land Protection Plan (LPP) by 2011. The LPP will identify in detail those lands that are seeking protection as part of the NWR system or through one of our land protection partners. View Task Comments 6.1.4 USFWS 09-10-12 Active
Inventory the upper Richelieu River to identify high-priority habitats for conservation. This task will be accomplished by 2015 by staff of the QC MRNF. View Task Comments 6.1.5 Québec Inactive

Expand 6.2) Undertake long-term conservation decisions in coordination with existing “open space” and federal, state, and local habitat protection programs by 2015.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Coordinate a meeting with partners to address this priority by the end of 2011, undertaking long-term conservation decisions in coordination with existing “open space” and federal, state, and local habitat protection programs. View Task Comments 6.2.1 LCBP Inactive
Staff of the USFWS Migratory Bird Program will provide coordination with the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture and grant opportunities for habitat restoration and acquisition under NAWCA. View Task Comments 6.2.2 USFWS 04-24-14 Active
Coordinate meetings with partners to address habitat restoration and acquisition (QC MDDEP, Ducks Unlimited, Nature Conservancy Canada, local partners like Organisme de Bassin Versant de la Baie Missisquoi) by the end of 2011. View Task Comments 6.2.3 Québec Inactive

Expand 6.3) Where appropriate, restore connections between aquatic habitats within the Lake Champlain Basin by managing or removing dams and other potential barriers (including in-lake barriers) to allow aquatic organism passage (AOP).

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Manage or remove dams and other potential barriers (including in-lake barriers) to allow AOP.
Support competitive local grants to improve habitat connectivity within the Basin through an RFP process by the end of 2010. View Task Comments 6.3.1 LCBP 09-10-14 Completed
Conduct feasibility study and an environmental impact study of removal of the Carry Bay causeway by 2013. View Task Comments 6.3.2 LCBP, USACE 04-02-14 Active
Identify potential dam removal projects in the Lake Champlain Basin and work with local stakeholders to develop removal plans. View Task Comments 6.3.3 USFWS 12-12-13 Completed
Vermont will assess the feasibility of removing the Swanton Dam on the Missisquoi River. USFWS will assist Swanton with removal if it is found to be feasible. View Task Comments 6.3.4 USFWS, Vermont 12-12-13 Active
Research aquatic organism passage at the Imperial Dam on the Saranac River in Plattsburgh and continue to operate the Willsboro Fishway on the Boquet River, providing salmon access to spawning habitat upstream of the Willsboro Dam. View Task Comments 6.3.5 New York 05-23-14 Active
Restore at least 1 dike between marshes and lake in Missisquoi Bay by 2015. View Task Comments 6.3.6 Québec 06-17-13 Active
Inventory and improve road-crossing structures that pose a barrier to AOP.
Develop a priority list of structures that need to be improved for AOP. This includes assisting with inventory of culverts in one subwatershed each year. Replace or retrofit 2 culverts each year. View Task Comments 6.3.7 USFWS 12-12-13 Active
VTANR staff will review culvert replacements and proposed new culverts for VTrans needs. View Task Comments 6.3.8 Vermont Inactive
Vermont will continue to ensure that all new and retrofitted bridges and culverts on the state roadway system support AOP as required by federal regulation. View Task Comments 6.3.9 Vermont Inactive
NYSDEC staff will seek improvements in bridge and culvert design via Article 15 permit application reviews. View Task Comments 6.3.10 New York Inactive
NYSDEC staff will incorporate ASCN into at least 1 transportation planning project, using State Wildlife Grant funding. View Task Comments 6.3.11 New York Inactive
Review culvert replacements and proposed new culverts for AOP needs. Replace or retrofit at least 3 culverts by 2015. View Task Comments 6.3.12 Québec Inactive

Expand 6.4) Enhance and conserve riparian and wetland habitats.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Support the NAWCA process for acquisition of federal funds for riparian and wetland conservation. View Task Comments 6.4.1 LCBP 05-09-14 Active
Provide financial and technical support for the enhancement of 20 miles and 2600 acres of riparian buffer annually in 2010, 2011, and 2012. View Task Comments 6.4.2 USDA-NRCS, USFWS, Vermont 12-12-13 Active
Provide financial and technical support for the establishment of 20,000 native trees and shrubs in riparian and wetland habitat annually in 2010, 2011, and 2012. View Task Comments 6.4.3 USDA-NRCS, USFWS, Vermont 04-04-14 Completed
Assess wetland restoration potential on 500 acres of degraded wetlands annually in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Provide financial and technical support for the hydrologic restoration of 500 wetland acres annually in 2010, 2011, and 2012. View Task Comments 6.4.4 USDA-NRCS, USFWS, Vermont 12-12-13 Completed
NYSDEC staff will minimize construction-related impacts to streambeds and banks via review of Protection of Water permit applications. NYSDEC staff will reduce construction-related impacts to wetlands, streams, and water bodies through careful administration of regulatory programs and technical assistance to permit applicants. View Task Comments 6.4.5 New York Inactive
NYSDEC will work with other partners (WRP, CRP, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, etc.) to improve the delivery of programs that conserve, restore, or enhance riparian and wetland habitats. View Task Comments 6.4.6 New York Inactive
Coordinate meetings with partners to address wetland and riparian habitat restoration and acquisition by the end of 2015. This task will be accomplished by the QCMDDEP, Ducks Unlimited, Nature Conservancy Canada, and local partners such as Organisme de Bassin Versant de la Baie Missisquoi. View Task Comments 6.4.7 Québec Inactive

Expand 6.5) Conserve important wildlife corridors associated with riparian habitats.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Facilitate meetings and networking among partners who have the ability or resources to acquire land for conservation purposes. View Task Comments 6.5.1 LCBP 05-09-14 Active
Assess floodplain restoration potential on 50 acres and 2 miles of degraded floodplain annually in 2010, 2011, and 2012. View Task Comments 6.5.2 USFWS 04-04-14 Completed
Provide technical and financial support to restore the floodplain connectivity of 20 acres and 1 mile of floodplain annually in 2010, 2011, and 2012. View Task Comments 6.5.3 USFWS 04-04-14 Completed
Work with partners in the State Wildlife Grant-funded “Staying Connected in the Northern Appalachians” to maintain, enhance, and restore habitat connectivity in the Adirondack/Green Mountain corridor for forest-dwelling species of concern. View Task Comments 6.5.4 New York, Vermont Inactive
The Nature Conservancy Canada will acquire wetlands and riparian areas to protect eastern spiny softshell turtle habitats in Missisquoi Bay. View Task Comments 6.5.5 Québec Inactive

Expand 6.6) Restore native fish species and enhance Lake Champlain Basin fisheries.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Promote tasks that reduce excessive sediment load in spawning habitat. View Task Comments 6.6.1 LCBP Inactive
Promote stream bank restoration projects on small tributaries that provide forest canopy cover for fish habitat improvement. View Task Comments 6.6.2 LCBP 06-28-13 Completed
Support at least 1 research project on the effects of climate change on the relative extent of cold- and warm-water fisheries in Lake Champlain (i.e., distribution and population viability of cold- and warm-water fisheries) by 2012. View Task Comments 6.6.3 LCBP 09-10-14 Active
Support AIS management programs as a mechanism to protect Lake Champlain Basin fisheries programs and native fish communities. View Task Comments 6.6.4 LCBP 06-28-13 Active
Stock Atlantic salmon and lake trout into Lake Champlain per LCFWMC Fish Technical Committee recommendations to enhance fisheries and restore self-sustaining populations. View Task Comments 6.6.5 LCFWMC 04-21-14 Active
Vermont will raise walleye fry and fingerlings to stock into Lake Champlain per the walleye restoration plan. USFWS will monitor walleye age, growth, and abundance in the South Bay of Lake Champlain. Québec will Monitor Pike River walleye spawning population in 2012. View Task Comments 6.6.6 Québec, USFWS, Vermont 04-24-14 Active
Restore American eel populations. USFWS will monitor eel abundance in US areas of Lake Champlain. Québec will monitor American eel population trends at fish ladders in the Chambly River and optimize American eel passage in the St-Ours River in cooperation Hydro-Québec. Québec will also continue an American eel stocking program in the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain until 2015. View Task Comments 6.6.7 Québec, USFWS 04-24-14 Active

Expand 6.7) Develop a Lake-wide colonial water bird management plan. Undertake management activities consistent with goals set forth in the plan.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Facilitate and support meetings of the LCFWMC to develop a Lake-wide colonial water bird management plan by 2015. View Task Comments 6.7.1 LCBP Inactive
Provide a large-scale perspective and help to integrate management changes from the Lake Champlain lake-wide colonial water bird management plan into the Upper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes Colonial Waterbird Management Plan. View Task Comments 6.7.2 USFWS 04-28-14 Active
Monitor populations and participate in management efforts recommended in Lake-wide colonial water bird management plan in each partner’s jurisdiction. View Task Comments 6.7.3 New York, Québec, USFWS 04-28-14 Active

Expand 6.8) Restore communities of native plants and high-priority habitats to benefit riparian restoration in the Lake Champlain Basin.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Work with local landowners to restore 50 acres of riparian or wetland community habitat each year. Maximize efforts toward using 100 percent native trees and shrubs, derived from local seed sources for all restoration projects. View Task Comments 6.8.1 USDA-NRCS, USFWS, Vermont 12-16-13 Completed
Support native nurseries in the Basin for restoration plantings. Support native plant restoration within competitive local grant processes. View Task Comments 6.8.2 LCBP 05-09-14 Active
Support local and provincial initiatives for restoring native plants in the Lake Champlain Basin. View Task Comments 6.8.3 Québec Inactive

Expand 6.9) Develop and implement recovery plans for federal, state, and provincially listed threatened and endangered species in the Lake Champlain Basin.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
LCBP will coordinate with jurisdictions to develop common strategies for species recovery programs. View Task Comments 6.9.1 LCBP, New York, Québec, Vermont Inactive
Support the protection and restoration of federally endangered Indiana bats in the Lake Champlain Basin. Identify and protect roosting, foraging, and maternity habitat. Coordinate response to WNS by assisting Vermont and New York in summer bat acoustic monitoring surveys and emergence counts and determining its effects on resident bat populations. View Task Comments 6.9.2 USFWS 10-15-12 Active
Restore or improve 100 acres per year of Indiana bat and other bat species habitat in Vermont. View Task Comments 6.9.3 USDA-NRCS Inactive
USFWS will coordinate with Vermont and New York in proposed wind farm reviews to determine effects on Indiana bats and other bat species. View Task Comments 6.9.4 New York, USFWS, Vermont Inactive
Participate in or coordinate freshwater mussel surveys of a species of concern, A. varicosa (brook floater), as part of a range-wide population assessment (and other mussel species as needed). View Task Comments 6.9.5 USFWS Inactive
USFWS will coordinate with Vermont in identifying potential habitat for the federally threatened Isotria medioloides (small whorled pogonia) in Chittenden County. View Task Comments 6.9.6 USFWS, Vermont Completed
Utilize State Wildlife Grant funding to develop recovery plans for select Threatened, Endangered, or Species of Special Concern. Most relevant to the Lake Champlain watershed will be recovery planning for sauger and timber rattlesnakes. View Task Comments 6.9.7 New York 05-23-14 Active
Provide technical assistance to at least 1 municipality in the Basin to protect Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) through development of local land-use plans and ordinances. View Task Comments 6.9.8 New York Inactive
Monitor populations of select listed species and require NYSECL Article 11 “Taking Permits” for projects that will impact listed species or their habitats. View Task Comments 6.9.9 New York Inactive
Participate in or coordinate surveys of channel darter (Percina copelandi), eastern sand darter (Ammocrypta pellucida), and copper redhorse (Moxostoma hubbsi) in the Richelieu River and continue to implement the recovery plans for these species. View Task Comments 6.9.10 Québec Inactive
Develop a joint recovery plan for the eastern spiny softshell turtle in Québec and Vermont to protect more essential habitats for this species. View Task Comments 6.9.11 Québec, Vermont Inactive

Expand 6.10) Manage native fish, wildlife and plant species that become a nuisance.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Continue implementing long-term sea lamprey assessment and control activities on Lake Champlain to restore lake trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, and Lake Sturgeon.
Participate in state-of-the-art sea lamprey control, including application of lampricides, construction of innovative barriers, trapping adults, and population assessments. More than 20 rivers, streams, and deltas will be assessed from 2010 to 2013, of which about 15 sites are anticipated for lampricide treatment. Six rivers and streams will be trapped annually. LCFWMC will also conduct annual surveys to assess sea lamprey wounding rates on lake trout and Atlantic salmon. LCBP will support policy favoring comprehensive management of sea lamprey within the Lake Champlain Basin, including alternative management techniques. View Task Comments 6.10.1 LCBP, LCFWMC, USACE 06-28-13 Active
Continue implementing cormorant and ring billed gull assessment and control activities on Lake Champlain.
Continue active participation with the LCFWMC to implement cormorant and ring billed gull assessment and control activities on Lake Champlain. View Task Comments 6.10.2 LCBP, New York, USDA-NRCS, USFWS, Vermont 04-28-14 Active
Review applications for permits to take gulls. Review annual proposals and reports filed under the Cormorant Public Resource Depredation Order by the USDA-NRCS-WS and the states. Missisquoi NWR will coordinate implementation of appropriate control actions on the refuge with partners, View Task Comments 6.10.3 USFWS 04-28-14 Active

Expand 6.11) Use biological indicators to monitor change in the Lake Champlain Ecosystem. Continue assessment of species diversity and abundance.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Monitor and assess zoo- and phytoplankton species diversity and abundance throughout Lake Champlain as an indicator of food web health. View Task Comments 6.11.1 LCBP 09-04-12 Active
Model and project the impacts of climate change on fish and wildlife communities in the Lake Champlain Basin that may result from climate change. View Task Comments 6.11.2 LCBP 12-13-13 Active
Establish a common classification system for the assessment of littoral, benthic, and shoreline habitat quality for Lake Champlain. Hold a workshop(s) by the end of 2011 with regional and national experts to establish an appropriate classification system and, ultimately, identify priority areas for conservation. Vermont will apply littoral habitat assessment methodology to the Lake Champlain shoreline. View Task Comments 6.11.3 LCBP, New York, Vermont 09-10-14 Active
Monitor fish communities. Vermont and USFWS will conduct annual forage fish abundance surveys, primarily through annual sampling of rainbow smelt and alewife by trawl and hydroacoustics, allowing managers to respond to fluctuations in the prey base by manipulating predator numbers through harvest control and stocking. Québec will conduct a fish survey of Missisquoi Bay by 2015. LCBP will communicate the results of this work to the public through regular web updates. View Task Comments 6.11.4 LCBP, Québec, USFWS, Vermont 12-15-11 Active

Expand 6.12) Opportunities for Future Actions: Identify research and monitoring projects that can improve management programs and conduct these projects when funding resources become available.

Associated Tasks ID # Lead Partners Updated Status
Conduct expanded analysis of trends in the long-term data set of zoo- and phytoplankton species diversity and abundance to relate these data to fisheries. View Task Comments 6.12.1 Inactive
Assess effects of eutrophication and siltation on spawning areas and aquatic organisms. View Task Comments 6.12.2 Inactive
Identify amount of accessible Atlantic salmon spawning habitat in the Lake Champlain Basin and determine impediments to recruitment of naturally produced Atlantic salmon. View Task Comments 6.12.3 Inactive
Inventory all priority habitats requiring protection in the New York portion of the Basin. View Task Comments 6.12.4 Inactive
Assess effects of cormorant predation on fish populations Lake-wide. View Task Comments 6.12.5 Inactive
Evaluate the status of largemouth and smallmouth bass populations in Lake Champlain to assess the long-term impact of fishing tournaments on these populations. View Task Comments 6.12.6 Inactive
Determine the status of the sauger in Lake Champlain and, if appropriate, develop strategies to restore the species. View Task Comments 6.12.7 Inactive

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