Identification of likely Lake Trout spawning habitat using multispectral remote sensing

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Natural reproduction by lake trout Salvelinus namaycush has recently increased in Lake Huron, but knowledge of early life history, including spawning locations, is currently incomplete. Remote sensing offers a method of identifying likely shallow spawning habitats within the lake's large littoral zone for further study, thereby supporting the efficient allocation of field monitoring resources. The spectral characteristics of shallow, rocky reefs located in the Drummond Island Refuge were obtained from Pléiades multispectral satellite imagery collected before and after the beginning of the 2013 spawning season, and sites that did and did not contain lake trout eggs as determined by diver surveys were compared. While the distribution of field data limited the assessment of the ability to distinguish among degrees of vegetation density and detect changes in vegetation density over time, a binomial regression model based on the above characteristics was reasonably accurate at predicting the locations of active spawning areas as confirmed by egg survey data. Combined with recent findings on the geological formations associated with lake trout spawning, vegetation mapping and change detection represents a new potential tool for locating spawning habitat.

Publisher's Statement

© 2016 International Association for Great Lakes Research. Publisher's version of record: http://iaglr.org/conference/downloads/2016_abstracts.pdf

Publication Title

IAGLR 59th Annual Conference