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Research Document - 2013/095

Using electrofishing data to determine regional benchmarks of habitat productive capacity

By R. Randall, R. Cunjak, J. Gibson, S. Reid, and A. Velez-Espino


Electrofishing and habitat survey and monitoring data from stream sites can be used to determine region-specific benchmarks of habitat productive capacity1. Stream electrofishing data from three regions, Bay of Fundy (NS), Miramichi (NB) and Toronto region (ON), were used as a pilot to illustrate this method. Regression and covariance analyses were used to tentatively quantify the survey area-production (area-P) relationships for each region. Region-specific habitat productivity indices (HPI), measured as fish biomass times the P/B ratio (summed for all cohabiting species), were determined by differences in elevation of the ANCOVA model. Similar data on fish biomass from a number of regions could be obtaining in future from science-based monitoring programs or from existing survey data (e.g., salmon population assessment). The use of region-specific benchmarks of HPI to calibrate estimates of weighted suitable area to determine absolute rather than relative indices of productivity is demonstrated.

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