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New Vessel Fills Great Lakes Research Niche

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The 69-year-old research vessel (R/V) Chinook was fast approaching retirement. After years of generating valuable research data on the Great Lakes fishery for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), it was nearing the end of its useful life. Enter the R/V Tanner, a state-of-the-art 57-foot aluminum-hulled vessel with all the modern equipment its crew could hope for. This new member of the fleet, named after former MDNR Fisheries Division chief and director Dr. Howard A. Tanner, was funded in part by a grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT). Although the Chinook will be missed, the Tanner is...
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New Method Available for Estimating Relative Recruitment Levels

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Imagine for a moment that you are responsible for determining how many lake trout can be removed from the northern part of Lake Michigan in the upcoming year without adversely affecting the population’s long-term sustainability. Unfortunately, you don’t have good data on which to base your decision. You aren’t sure how to accurately predict how many young lake trout will reach maturity, and, thus, replace those you allow fishers to remove. You have some historical data, but you know recruitment levels can vary widely from year to year. What happened last year—or even in the past few years—is not necessarily...
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The Role of Tributaries and River Plumes as Nursery Areas for Yellow Perch and Round Gobies in Lake Michigan

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In the warmer waters of spring, yellow perch lay their eggs in long, gelatinous strands, usually among the thick vegetation found in the shallow waters of rivers and along the shores of lakes. A single female can lay more than 20,000 eggs; however, the vast majority of fish that come from these eggs will die very early, primarily due to predation and starvation. To cultivate self-sustaining stocks of fish, fisheries managers need to understand how best to help young fish survive. For example, among all the different habitats in and around Lake Michigan, are there particular ones where larval and...
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GLFT Aquatic Connectivity Workshop Proceedings Document Available

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In 2014, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust convened an aquatic connectivity workshop to identify the types of decision-support tools that resource managers and regulators need and would use to guide decisions on where to improve fish passage or remove dams in the Great Lakes basin. The workshop convened over 50 participants representing 23 entities from federal, state, tribal, and local agencies; binational organizations; universities; and nonprofits. Participants reviewed existing decision-support tools and discussed their information needs and processes used when developing, evaluating, and implementing aquatic connectivity projects. The discussion helped identify research needs and information gaps and ways to enhance existing...
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Exploring Life History Characteristics of Naturalized Versus Stocked Chinook

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Since the 1960s, the state has been stocking Lake Michigan with Chinook salmon to help maintain the lake’s ecosystem and provide diverse fishing opportunities to anglers. As a result, more than half of the Chinook in Lake Michigan today are naturalized. But how has the salmon population changed over time? And are there significant differences between naturally produced and hatchery-stocked populations—differences that could upset the delicate balance of the state’s fisheries? Since Michigan depends on the economic benefits of recreational fishing—and since the health of the lakes depends on making sound management decisions—the Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) funded a...
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