Graham Sustainability Institute

Webinar: Lessons Learned from Fish Spawning Reef Restoration

Many Great Lakes fish species, including lake sturgeon, walleye, white fish and cisco, migrate to rocky areas to deposit and fertilize their eggs. However, in many systems spawning habitat has been degraded due to sedimentation, destroyed during the construction of shipping channels, or made inaccessible by barriers. Constructed spawning reefs – essentially beds of loose rock placed on a river or lake bottom – is one method of restoring lost fish habitat.

In 2001, a diverse team came together to test and study strategies for creating fish spawning reefs in the St. Clair–Detroit River System. By applying an adaptive management process through a series of reef restoration projects, the team has improved its strategies for designing, building and monitoring projects and for facilitating an effective planning process. Key lessons have been summarized in a recent practitioner-oriented report, which is available here. 

This webinar will share lessons learned about adaptive management, stakeholder engagement, reef design and project monitoring. Members of the reef restoration team will discuss their distinct roles and share both challenges and strategies for achieving desired restoration outcomes. This webinar is co-sponsored by two reef project funders, the NOAA Restoration Center and Sustain Our Great Lakes, and representatives from these organizations will be available for questions.

11AM Eastern / 10 AM Central  

Details and Registration

Presenters will include:

  • Jennifer Read, PhD
    Director, University of Michigan Water Center
  • Mary Bohling
    Extension Educator, Michigan Sea Grant
  • Rachel Echtinaw, PE
    Civil Engineer, SmithGroupJJR
  • James Boase
    Fisheries Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Please contact Todd Hogrefe, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, at 612-564-7286 or for more information.
Sustain Our Great Lakes is a bi-national, public-private partnership that sustains, restores and protects fish, wildlife and habitat in the Great Lakes basin by leveraging funding, building conservation capacity, and focusing partners and resources toward key ecological issues.



Date & Time: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 11:00 am
Registration Deadline: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 11:00 am