Wisconsin launches research aimed at restoring fisheries in urban rivers

A restorative river fisheries project commenced earlier this year is part of a Milwaukee harbor habitat study.

Led by the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UWM), its goal is to identify habitat that supports estuary fish and recommend strategies to protect, encourage and connect these habitats in harbor revitalization and habitat restoration plans.

Among its first steps: determine whether and where reproductive populations of fish exist in the Milwaukee harbor through searches for larval fish, forage and vegetation.

If you’re a fan of fishing, wildlife viewing or general ecological restoration, you’ll be interested in this project.

The work is being supported by the Fund for Lake Michigan, which awarded its largest grant for 2016 — $190,000 — to the UWM researchers, as well as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which contributed $50,000.

The funding is used to purchase and rent equipment and pay for personnel. It is expected to run for two years.

The researchers are hopeful the work will become a model for other projects to map and restore urban harbors.

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