GLFT Research Notes

A Great Lakes Fishery Trust Communication

Big things are happening around the Great Lakes basin.

The GLFT Research Notes Newsletter helps GLFT members stay updated on the most relevant news, grants, research, and approved and completed projects.

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Salmon swimming up stream

New Study Shows Pacific Salmon Transfer Contaminants to Resident Fish

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Early industrialization of the Great Lakes region has led to the release of numerous pollutants into the land, air, and water, which have been shown to be harmful to humans and wildlife in specific concentrations. Bioaccumulation and biomagnification, the processes by which pollutants build up in individual species and populations higher on the food chain, are relatively well documented and understood. Less is understood, however, about biotransportation—the process by which migratory species, such as Pacific salmon, transfer these pollutants into environments that may not have localized sources of contamination—and its potential impacts on surrounding fish and wildlife as well as…

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…

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…

Characterizing Sources of Thiaminase in Great Lakes Food Webs

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Grant at a Glance In order to understand Thiamine Deficiency Complex (TDC)—which contributes to premature death in lake trout—researchers looked into whether certain fish genes produce thiaminase (a protein that breaks down vitamin B) de novo, or at a cellular level. Although lake trout rehabilitation in the Great Lakes is a fishery management goal, efforts to date have largely failed as a result of poor survival in early life stages, inappropriate stocking practices, insufficient adult numbers, and females producing eggs with low thiamine. This project will help scientists to recommend the next actions in order to reduce or manage TDC…