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Brian C. Weidel

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Deepwater sculpin are important in oligotrophic lakes as one of the few fishes that use deep profundal habitats and link invertebrates in those habitats to piscivores. In Lake Ontario the species was once abundant, however drastic declines in the mid-1900s led some to suggest the species had been extirpated and ultimately led Canadian and U.S. agencies to elevate the species' conservation status. Following two decades of surveys with no captures, deepwater sculpin were first caught in low numbers in 1996 and by the early 2000s there were indications of population recovery. We updated the status of Lake Ontario deepwater sculpin through 2016 to inform resource management and conservation. Our data set was comprised...
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Habitat fragmentation impedes dispersal of aquatic fauna, and barrier removal is increasingly used to increase stream network connectivity and facilitate fish dispersal. Improved understanding of fish community response to barrier removal is needed, especially in fragmented agricultural streams where numerous antiquated dams are likely destined for removal. We examined post-removal responses in two distinct fish communities formerly separated by a small aging mill dam. The dam was removed midway through the 6 year study, enabling passage for downstream fishes affiliated with a connected reservoir into previously inaccessible habitat, thus creating the potential for taxonomic homogenization between upstream and downstream...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Aquatic Sciences
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Understanding fish habitat use is important in determining conditions that ultimately affect fish energetics, growth and reproduction. Great Lakes lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) have demonstrated dramatic changes in growth and life history traits since the appearance of dreissenid mussels in the Great Lakes, but the role of habitat occupancy in driving these changes is poorly understood. To better understand temporal changes in lake whitefish depth of capture (Dw), we compiled a database of fishery-independent surveys representing multiple populations across all five Laurentian Great Lakes. By demonstrating the importance of survey design in estimating Dw, we describe a novel method for detecting survey-based...
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Lower trophic levels support the prey fish on which most sport fish depend. Therefore, understanding the production potential of lower trophic levels is integral to the management of Lake Ontario’s fishery resources. Lower trophic-level productivity differs among offshore and nearshore waters. In the offshore, there is concern about the ability of the lake to support Alewife (Table 1) production due to a perceived decline in productivity of phytoplankton and zooplankton whereas, in the nearshore, there is a concern about excessive attached algal production (e.g., Cladophora) associated with higher nutrient concentrations—the oligotrophication of the offshore and the eutrophication of the nearshore (Mills et al....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Special Publication
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Inputs of terrestrial organic carbon (t-OC) into lakes are often considered a resource subsidy for aquatic consumer production. Although there is evidence that terrestrial carbon can be incorporated into the tissues of aquatic consumers, its ability to enhance consumer production has been debated. Our research aims to evaluate the net effect of t-OC input on zooplankton. We used a survey of zooplankton production and resource use in ten lakes along a naturally occurring gradient of t-OC concentration to address these questions. Total and group-specific zooplankton production was negatively related to t-OC. Residual variation in zooplankton production that was not explained by t-OC was negatively related to terrestrial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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