Lake & Water Quality

How to Keep a Fish-Friendly Shoreline

A healthy shoreline can help improve your water quality while supporting your fine-finned friends
By Sharon Moen, Minnesota Sea Grant
Published: May 14, 2014
fish-friendly shoreline tips
Illustration by Kellie Jaeger
Fear. Desire. The survival of the fittest and the lucky. Living in the wild takes moxie and a suitable environment. From the perspective of a trout or a bass, this means great water chemistry, abundant food, a place to rest, and a bed in which to spawn. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation calls this “Essential Fish Habitat” (EFH). Maybe you just call it your lake?

Managing fish populations and habitat is often left to federal and state natural resource agencies. They might team up with anglers to install lunker structures, where trout can hide from predators and can grow large. In New Hampshire, the state’s Fish Habitat Program has tackled shoreline restoration, fluvial geomorphology (a science devoted to understanding how the natural setting and human land use in a watershed determine the shape of the river channel), and land use. It is not just the government’s job to manage fish habitat, however. The onus is on all of us.

“The best thing that you can do for fish is to be a good steward of natural resources,” says Ryan Roberts, Communications Coordinator for the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Especially for those who own shoreline, consider pursuing the following fish-friendly tips.
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