Wednesday December 19, 2018

A Guide to Understanding Freshwater Fish Habitat

Fish Habitat Primer (DFO, Canada)Why should we care about a fish’s world? Well, because fish are more than an important source of recreation and commercial revenue. They are key players in the complex aquatic balancing act that keeps our rivers and lakes healthy and our ecosystems strong. Yet most of us do not have the faintest clue where in the water fish actually live, let alone what they require to survive. It is not surprising then, that even with the best intentions, a cottager thinking of rearranging their shoreline or a developer considering a lakeside investment has little idea how to avoid harming fish habitat.

Even on dry land, our actions – spreading chemicals on fields and lawns, letting sewage seep from faulty septic tanks or paving roads and walkways resulting in increased runoff – have consequences for the waterways in which fish live. Wherever land actually meets the water, the physical changes we make too often completely rearrange nature’s design for the underwater world.

For more information on the Shoreline Primer please visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.