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Towards Evidence-Based Habitat Offsetting Through Systematic Review: Does Spawning Habitat Creation for Substrate Spawning Fish Work

Do fish actually thrive in habitats that humans create? When human activities cause harm to fish that cannot be avoided or mitigated, the Fisheries Act requires that impacts to fish be balanced, or offset, through measures such as replacement or enhancement of spawning habitat. Fisheries and Oceans Canada funded this project at Carleton University with $37,000 from the Partnership Fund in 2016 to develop a systematic and qualitative review of the scientific knowledge on created spawning habitat for substrate spawning fish (e.g., salmonids, centrarchids, catostomids, acipenserids, ictalurids, and some percids and cyprinids) to determine if this offset works, is partly effective or ineffective. The deliverable is a scientific resource to provide an evidence-based approach to management for such fish. This will help guide decisions about offsets for sustainability and the ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries.

Project Number: CA2016.17
Year: 2016
Partner: Carleton University
Principal Investigator(s): Stephen Cooke
Eco-region: National

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