Feasibility of using satellite imaging to remotely identify lake trout spawning sites

Grant: # 1234

Grant Amount: $66,750.00

Board Decision Year: 2012

Great Lakes Fishery Commission (Ann Arbor)

Binder, Thomas ([email protected]) 989-734-4768

GLFT - Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations-C - Ecological and biological fisheries research to inform management

Project Details

The availability and quality of spawning habitat may limit lake trout recovery in the Great Lakes, but little is known about the location and characteristics of current spawning habitats. Recent methods used to identify lake trout spawning locations include egg surveys and fry traps, which are time- and labor-intensive and spatially limited. Due to the observation that lake trout spawning sites are relatively clean of overlaying algae compared to areas not used for spawning, researchers hypothesized that spawning sites could be identified using satellite imagery. They assessed the feasibility of using high-resolution satellite imagery to evaluate whether known spawning and nonspawning sites could be accurately differentiated from the patterns of change in spectral characteristics between prespawning and postspawning images.

This project developed a tool to help researchers identify potential lake trout spawning sites in nearshore areas of the Great Lakes. In this novel application of remote sensing, the researchers verified that satellite images can be used to quantify spatial and temporal variation in algae cover on substrate and thus identify areas of cleaned substrate that might serve as suitable lake trout spawning habitat.


GLFT Final Report
View - 2012.1234_GLFT_remote_sensing_final_report_draft-ck_cb_ag_FINAL.pdf