Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New York
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New York Project

Restoring fish community resilience to support ecosystem stability in the Great Lakes: Cisco restoration in Keuka Lake

April 2020 - April 2024


Participating Agencies

  • NY State Department of Environmental Conservation

As inland lakes in the Northeast U.S. evolve under changing climate and variable nutrient inputs, maintaining fish community biodiversity has been identified as a key ecosystem management strategy to promote resilient fishery resources. Cisco were once abundant throughout the Great Lakes basin, however, many inland lake populations had been lost by the mid 1900s. Managers are now looking to restore these populations and increase lake forage fish diversity. In this collaboration across USGS, Cornell, and the NY State Department of Conservation, we are pioneering whole-lake monitoring and novel acoustic tagging technology to re-introduce Cisco in Keuka Lake. Our project is providing survival and food web information that can guide Cisco restoration across the Great Lakes basin, contributing vital empirical evidence to inform species restoration efforts.