Social network analysis of lake sturgeon in the Namakan River and Reservoir, Fort Frances District, Ontario
Honours Bachelor of Environmental Management
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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Social network analysis is the study of individuals or units and the relationship between them at a given time. It allows insight about evolution, maintenance of social relationships, and behavioural characteristics. These networks can help measure and describe the overall structure and stability or vulnerability of a group. Such measures of vulnerability are especially important for Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvesens), due to their threatened status across Canada. This study had three objectives: (1) to find groups of Lake Sturgeon residing in the Namakan River, Fort Frances District, Ontario that might consistently migrate upstream at the same time, (2) to find groups of Lake Sturgeon that consistently arrive at the same spawning reaches each year, and (3) to determine if groups of Lake Sturgeon residing in the Namakan Reservoir consistently interact with one another. Telemetry data from the Namakan River and Reservoir were used to determine if social networks were forming over a period of five years. No social groups were found in the Namakan River during this time, but there was evidence of their formation in the Namakan Reservoir. This information can aid in developing management plans for Lake Sturgeon in the Namakan River and Reservoir.