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Evaluation of the Impacts of Flow and Water Level Fluctuations on the St. Marys River Ecosystem

Mark Bain;Scudder Mackey, Ashley Moerke, Geoffrey Steinhart, Kristen Arend, Pariwate Varnakovida
Evaluation of the impacts on the St. Marys River ecosystem of potential changes to the Lake Superior regulation plan, and options for meeting the contemporary and emerging needs, interests, and preferences for sustainable management of the river. An ecosystem scale evaluation of the current environment was conducted. The objectives were to: 1) identify the current condition of the riverine environment emphasizing its biological status; 2) identify potential opportunities for ecological protection and enhancement to address deficiencies in the environmental quality of the river through operational changes of the compensating works and hydropower plants, and; 3) specify water management performance indicators for use in the IUGLS. Ten performance indicators were produced to assess the vulnerabilities and environmental response of the St. Marys River ecosystem to changing flows and levels, and considerable effort was made to protect or enhance vulnerable habitat areas and species.
Ecosystem PI 21: Sea Lamprey Habitat, St. Marys River
Ecosystem PI 22: Native Fish Habitat St. Marys River Rapids
Ecosystem PI 23: Fish Stranding in Rapids, St. Marys River
Ecosystem PI 24: St. Marys River Sturgeon Spawning Habitat
Ecosystem PI 25: Sediment Flushing Flows, St. Marys River
Ecosystem PI 26: St. Marys River Cisco Spawning Habitat
Ecosystem PI 27: Black Tern nesting success, St. Marys River
Ecosystem PI 28: Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, St. Marys R.
Ecosystem PI 29: Emergent Wetland, Lake Nicolet
Ecosystem PI 30: Backwater Habitat, St. Marys River
St. Marys River Biological Status & Performance Indicators
St. Marys River Ecosystem Evaluation and Restoration
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Supporting Content (Show)
Main Topics
Lake Superior Regulation
Questions We Asked
What constitutes improved plan performance?
Does the plan reduce environmental impacts?
View all 3 questions we asked
How vulnerable are interest groups to extremes?
Key Findings
Plan 2012 avoids serious impacts to Lake Sturgeon breeding habitat
St. Marys River flows will be more natural under Plan 2012
Approve Lake Superior Plan 2012
Ecosystems Evaluation
Performance Indicators
View all 3 tasks
Coping Zones