Managing spawning and nursery habitat of the Georgian Bay muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)

The following Ph.D. describes how a period of sustained low water levels and shoreline modifications in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, have impacted the coastal wetland habitat used by muskellunge during their early life. To counteract these adverse effects, the thesis provides a definition of the wetland features that promote the survival of youngof-the-year muskellunge in Georgian Bay. Included is a proposed management tool in the form of an Index of Nursery Habitat Suitability (INHS) for muskellunge that can be used to identify high-quality, early-life habitat of muskellunge. Furthermore, the INHS can be used to predict how the quality of this habitat responds to different water-level scenarios and to shoreline modification in Georgian Bay, and to guide rehabilitative efforts of degraded wetland habitat.