Yellow perch stock assessment in drowned river mouth lakes and nearshore Lake Michigan

Grant: # 1456

Grant Amount: $196,310.00

Board Decision Year: 2014

Grand Valley State University - Annis Water Resources Institute (Muskegon)

Annis Water Resources Institute

Ruetz, Carl ([email protected]) 616-331-3946

2014 Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations: Ecological and Biological Research to Inform Management - Ecological and biological fisheries research to inform management

Project Details

Stock delineation is essential for conserving the genotypic and phenotypic diversity of wild fish populations. Genetic analysis has become a fundamental tool for establishing regulations that will limit impacts on evolutionary processes and minimize overexploitation of sensitive stocks. Simultaneous analysis of multiple population parameters, such as genetic structure and life history variation, can further improve the likelihood that stock definitions accurately reflect a species’ biology. In this study, researchers examined the genetic structure of yellow perch in nearshore Lake Michigan and drowned river mouth (DRM) lakes, and assessed the timing and prevalence of migrations between Lake Michigan and DRM lakes by using otolith isotope signatures to infer habitat occupancy patterns. This research found distinct populations in Lake Michigan and DRM lakes, and further found that fish from Lake Michigan sometimes migrate into DRM lakes to spawn or feed. As a result of this research, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources changed the harvest limit for yellow perch to be the same across Lake Michigan and DRM lakes, rather than having separate harvest limits.


Final Report
View - Ruetz_GLFT_Final_Narrative_Report_v2.pdf