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

Massachusetts Project

Investigating Impacts of Winter Lake Drawdowns on Littoral Ecosystems

January 2013 - December 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Water Resources Annual Institute Program through the Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center
  • Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Goose Pond (Tyringham, MA) undergoing a winter drawdown

In Massachusetts, there are about 200 small reservoirs that are drawn down in the fall and refilled in the spring as an approach to kill aquatic vegetation. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is interested in understanding the effects of these drawdowns on fish and wildlife that use the lakes. The project will begin with a literature review of the effects of lake drawdowns on fish and wildlife, and an assessment of the scope (location, timing, amount, rate, etc.) of drawdowns in Massachusetts. This will be followed by a field project assessing the impacts of drawdowns on lake fauna.

Research Publications Publication Date
Carmignani, J.R., A.H. Roy, P.D. Hazelton, and H. Giard. 2019. Annual winter water level drawdowns limit shallow-water mussel densities in small lakes. Freshwater Biology 64:1519-1533. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13324 | Publisher Website June 2019
Carmignani, J.R. and A.H. Roy. 2017. Ecological impacts of winter lake drawdowns on lake littoral zones: A review. Aquatic Sciences 79:803-824. DOI 10.1007/s00027-017-0549-9 | Download July 2017
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Carmignani, J.R. 2020. Investigating the effects of winter drawdowns on the ecological character of littoral zones in Massachusetts lakes. PhD Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA February 2020