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Overview of the ecology on the Bras d'Or Lakes with emphasis on the fish

, : Overview of the ecology on the Bras d'Or Lakes with emphasis on the fish. Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science. December; 421: 65-99

In this review of biological research in the Bras d'Or Lakes, groundfish trawl surveys from 1952,1967 and 1999/2000 are compared and changes in abundance and distribution of major groundfish species are noted. The most common species were winter flounder {Pseudopleronectes americanus) and cod (Cadus morhua). The biggest change over the nearly 50 year span of these investigations was in the abundance of American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) which used to be very common in the Lakes but were rare in recent surveys. The Lakes contain at least one, and probably two, resident populations of cod and are home to a population of spring-spawning herring. The unique nature of the Bras d'Or Lakes is emphasized in relation to the diversity of species they contain. Glacial relicts, survivors since the last ice age, can be found within a few kilometres of warm temperate species, persisting since the 'climatic optimum'. The Lakes are ideally suited for ecosystem studies, for in addition to their unique biology, they are readily accessible and can be easily sampled on a daily basis.


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