Event Title

Harboring Habitats in Lake Michigan

Mentor 1

John Janssen

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:00 AM

Description

Working with the Harbor District, specialized Habitat Hotels that were previously installed along the steel walls of the Milwaukee Harbor off of Lake Michigan were seasonally monitored. These lifeless walls do not support any plant life or habitat for fish to interact with or potentially use for breeding. The Habitat Hotels provide a place of refuge for the fish and an opportunity for young fish to survive. They are made from old fish fry baskets that are repurposed to provide structure. A determination had to be made as to what type of basket structure would support life while remaining cost effective and reasonable maintenance requirements in order for these baskets to potentially be installed in other locations. Three basket types were monitored throughout the summer of 2020 by underwater video footage that was reviewed and edited. The basket types were plants (water celery — Vallisneria), rope, which was used as an artificial plant, and empty baskets that provided structure along the walls. Data collected with the video footage included plant growth and fullness, in addition to what types of fish were seen, how many fish of each kind were seen, and what their interaction with the baskets were. A data library also needed to be created to organize the data for future purposes and to be extrapolated and interpreted. From the data analysis, it was determined that the most fish interaction was with the baskets that contained plants. However, there was variable success among the individual plants, as they were vulnerable to wave action and boat traffic, and required replanting if the plants were not secured properly. The rope baskets proved to also have more fish interaction than that of the empty basket structures, especially in regards to Bass. They required no maintenance and worked very well as artificial plants.

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Apr 16th, 12:00 AM

Harboring Habitats in Lake Michigan

Working with the Harbor District, specialized Habitat Hotels that were previously installed along the steel walls of the Milwaukee Harbor off of Lake Michigan were seasonally monitored. These lifeless walls do not support any plant life or habitat for fish to interact with or potentially use for breeding. The Habitat Hotels provide a place of refuge for the fish and an opportunity for young fish to survive. They are made from old fish fry baskets that are repurposed to provide structure. A determination had to be made as to what type of basket structure would support life while remaining cost effective and reasonable maintenance requirements in order for these baskets to potentially be installed in other locations. Three basket types were monitored throughout the summer of 2020 by underwater video footage that was reviewed and edited. The basket types were plants (water celery — Vallisneria), rope, which was used as an artificial plant, and empty baskets that provided structure along the walls. Data collected with the video footage included plant growth and fullness, in addition to what types of fish were seen, how many fish of each kind were seen, and what their interaction with the baskets were. A data library also needed to be created to organize the data for future purposes and to be extrapolated and interpreted. From the data analysis, it was determined that the most fish interaction was with the baskets that contained plants. However, there was variable success among the individual plants, as they were vulnerable to wave action and boat traffic, and required replanting if the plants were not secured properly. The rope baskets proved to also have more fish interaction than that of the empty basket structures, especially in regards to Bass. They required no maintenance and worked very well as artificial plants.