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Great Lakes Aquatic Gap Project

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A Great Lakes Aquatic Gap is being conducted for riverine systems in Wisconsin as part of the U.S. Rock Bass PictureGeological Survey (USGS) National Gap Analysis Program. The USGS is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WNDR) and other cooperators to develop an ecological stream classification for Wisconsin streams and develop a database for fish species distributions and community data. The ecological stream classification is being developed based on physical characteristics that describe stream geology, geomorphology, temperature, and flow using a valley segment classification approach.

The development of a fish database is being coordinated with an existing WDNR database that includes data for more than 15,000 fish sampling sites collected as far back as 1870 with 38 percent of samples collected from 1980 - 2000. Fish sampling locations will be linked to the stream valley segmentsBrook Trout Photo in order to map known and predicted distributions of 130 fish species using species/habitat models. Data will be used in conjunction with land stewardship maps in a geographic information system to determine where gaps exist in the protection and conservation of fish species. The Wisconsin effort is being coordinated with other Aquatic Gap projects so results will be comparable across the Great Lakes basin. The Wisconsin Aquatic Gap project is planned for completion in 2006.