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Investigating Impacts of Winter Lake Drawdowns on Littoral Ecosystems

Goose Pond (Tyringham, MA) undergoing a winter drawdown


January 2013 - June 2019


In Massachusetts, there are about 200 small reservoirs that are drawn down in the fall and refilled in the spring as an approach to kill aquatic vegetation. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is interested in understanding the effects of these drawdowns on fish and wildlife that use the lakes. The project will begin with a literature review of the effects of lake drawdowns on fish and wildlife, and an assessment of the scope (location, timing, amount, rate, etc.) of drawdowns in Massachusetts. This will be followed by a field project assessing the impacts of drawdowns on lake fauna.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Carmignani, J.R. and A.H. Roy. 2017. Ecological impacts of winter lake drawdowns on lake littoral zones: A review. Aquatic Sciences 79:803-824. DOI 10.1007/s00027-017-0549-9 Download  | 


  • Carmignani, J.R. and A.H. Roy. 2014. Examining effects of winter water level drawdowns on fish populations in New England lakes. Annual Meeting of the New England Association of Environmental Biologists, 26-28 March 2014, Burlington, VT.
  • Carmignani, J.R. and A.H. Roy. 2014. Ecological impacts of winter water level drawdowns on lake littoral zone communities: a review. Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting, 18-22 May 2014, Portland, OR.
  • Carmignani, J. and A.H. Roy. 2015. Do annual winter drawdowns alter the physical habitat structure and complexity of the littoral zone? New England Association of Environmental Biologists, 18-20 March 2015, Bartlett, NH.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 154

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 241

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 695

Scientific Publications: 1962

Presentations: 4417



  • Allison RoyPrincipal Investigator
  • Jason CarmignaniStudent
  • Gillian GundersenStudent
  • Ian WeisharStudent
  • Kathryn StankiewiczStudent
  • Corey WrininStudent
  • Holly GiardStudent
  • Sean YoungStudent
  • Tansy RemiszewskiStudent
  • Alex GroblewskiStudent
  • Todd RichardsNon-PI Collaborator
  • Pete Hazelton Non-PI Collaborator
  • Jason Stolarski Non-PI Collaborator
  • Emily ThomasStudent
  • Emily LozierStudent
  • Renee BouldinStudent
  • Alexander AhlquistStudent
  • Allyson YarraStaff

Funding Agencies

  • Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Water Resources Annual Institute Program through the Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey