Adapting to Climate Change: Guidance for the Management of Inland Glacial Lake Fisheries
Climate change is altering glacial lake fisheries in the United States, presenting a complex challenge for fisheries managers. Here we provide a regional perspective to guide management of heterogeneous and yet interdependent fishery resources in glacial lakes of the upper Midwest. Our main objective was to promote the adaptation of inland glacial lakes fisheries management to climate change by outlining processes that support regional plans. Using examples from the glacial lakes region, we outline an approach for regional prioritization, specify strategies for moving from regional prioritization to on-the-ground action, and provide guidance on the implementation of management plans given resource limitations and potential stakeholder conflict. We find that integrating ecological, social, and economic data with climate change vulnerability assessments can be useful in generating “lake-priority levels” to help identify where to focus actions to support system resilience. Managers can use lake-priority levels and ecosystem-specific strategies to make decisions about where and when to apply fisheries management action ranging from traditional (i.e., stocking, harvest regulations) to nontraditional approaches (i.e., catchment land management). Although the implementation of several approaches may be beyond an agency’s financial and logistical capacity, funds can be secured through other sources ranging from grant programs to nontraditional partnerships identified by “thinking outside the lake.” Regional plans may be an important step toward successful climate adaptation for inland glacial lakes fisheries management, and the proactive efforts of managers may help facilitate their development and implementation.