# Project Organization Contact Status Amount
1983 Protecting and Increasing the Value of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Commercial Fishery

Current uses for commercially caught whitefish only capture a small fraction of the full potential value of each fish. Overall, the Great Lakes commercial fishery is a tremendously undervalued and underutilized asset. This project will research the opportunities to utilize 100% of the fish carcass that is harvested. By increasing the value of each individual fish, the fishery can be better sustained while critical research and management actions are ongoing to address the population decline.


Board Decision Year: 2022
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers - Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (Arlington Heights) Naftzger, David ([email protected]) Active $157,558.00
1957 Comparing habitat use, survival, and movement patterns of stream-side and traditionally-reared Lake Sturgeon stocked into the Saginaw River System

Board Decision Year: 2021
Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Vandergoot, Christopher ([email protected]) Active $253,992.55
1952 Contribution of resident and migrant yellow perch to angler harvest in drowned river mouth lakes

Yellow perch is an ecologically and economically important native species in Lake Michigan that is well below peak abundance. We propose to identify the proportion of yellow perch harvest in drowned river mouth lakes (lake-like habitats connecting a tributary to a large lake) that consists of migrants from Lake Michigan using a combination of isotopic and genetic analyses. This research will allow mangers to estimate stock contributions to harvest, which is critical for successful management.

Board Decision Year: 2021
Grand Valley State University - Annis Water Resources Institute (Muskegon) Ruetz, Carl ([email protected]) Active $156,304.00
1949 Spatial, temporal, and diel relations between zooplankton and age-0 lake whitefish in the Upper Great Lakes

One hypothesis for recent lake whitefish (LAW) population declines in Lakes Michigan and Huron is because of decreased food (zooplankton) for larval fish. However, relations between zooplankton and larval lake whitefish are poorly understood at large spatial, temporal, and diel scales. Our proposed work combines comprehensive, and standardized sampling, field campaigns with mesocosm experiments to better understand within-and across-lake relations between larval LAW density, condition, and growth, zooplankton populations, and other environmental variables.

Board Decision Year: 2022
Lake Superior State University - Center for Freshwater Research and Education (Sault Ste. Marie) Doubek, Jonathan ([email protected]) Active $194,738.63
1941 An Otolith Microchemistry Library to Assess Natal Origins of Lake Whitefish

Board Decision Year: 2022
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay - Department of Natural and Applied Sciences (Green Bay) Forsythe, Patrick ([email protected]) Active $57,676.00
1916 Transfer of: Using Genomics to Improve Stock Structure Resolution and Assess Recruitment Dynamics of Lake Whitefish in Lake Michigan

Board Decision Year: 2018
University of Alaska Fairbanks - College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (Juneau) McPhee, Megan ([email protected]) Active $127,744.48
1895 Application of a framework to quantify flow of energy pathways to Great Lakes prey fish

Great Lakes fisheries management requires a clear understanding of energy flow within Great Lakes food webs. This project will integrate spatially-explicit estimates of prey fish resource use and biomass to quantify energy flow from nearshore and offshore food resources to prey fish in Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Green Bay, and Saginaw Bay. Results will provide managers with novel information to balance predator and prey populations, achieve Fish Community Objectives, and restore populations of native fish.

Board Decision Year: 2020
University of Wyoming - Zoology and Physiology (Laramie) Fetzer, William ([email protected]) Active $288,341.00
1892 Predicting health hazards to Great Lakes fish from PFAS contamination

Perfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) are impacting fish and wildlife species across the world. Great Lakes fish are contaminated with these substances but it is unclearhow these compounds affect the health of individual fish and populations. There are too many PFAS to test appropriately, so we propose to validate a predictive framework that models the binding of various PFAS on Great Lakes fish immune proteins and then tests the impact on fish health in disease challenge

Board Decision Year: 2020
Michigan State University - Fisheries and Wildlife Murphy, Cheryl ([email protected]) Active $252,761.68
1885 Stock structure and interactions of Lake Whitefish in Grand Traverse Bay and adjacent areas of Lake Michigan

Management of Lake Whitefish harvest in Lake Michigan assumes that different stocks do not mix during the fishing season, but validation of this assumption has been difficult using conventional mark-recapture studies. Therefore, in this study, year-round acoustic tracking of 200 individual Lake Whitefish was used to describe stock-specific movement patterns, which will help fishery managers improve estimates of stock abundance that are used to recommend harvest levels.

Board Decision Year: 2020
Great Lakes Fishery Commission (Ann Arbor) Domeracki, Stephen ([email protected]) Active $465,592.00
1877 Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework - Marketing

Board Decision Year: 2019
The Regents of the University of Michigan - School of Natural Resources and Environment (Ann Arbor) Riseng, Catherine ([email protected]) Active $7,940.00
1860 Quantifying the importance of multiple nursery habitats to alewife population recruitment and resilience in Lake Michigan.

Board Decision Year: 2019
Purdue University - Dept. of Forestry and Nat. Resources (West Lafayette) Hook, Tomas ([email protected]) Active $299,453.63
1850 A Long-Term Assessment of Adult Lake Sturgeon Returns From Streamside Rearing Using Passive PIT Tag Antennas

Board Decision Year: 2019
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians - Natural Resource Department (Manistee) Martell, Archie ([email protected]) Active $202,580.00
1849 Assessing the Contribution of Wild Chinook Salmon from Lakes Michigan and Huron to the Lake Michigan Sport Fishery Using Otolith Microchemistry

Board Decision Year: 2019
Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Brenden, Travis O. ([email protected]) Active $131,129.00
1838 Importance of food and predators to Lake Whitefish and Cisco recruitment in Lake Michigan

Since the early 2000s, Lake Whitefish (LWF) populations in Lake Michigan have declined whereas Cisco populations have increased. Changes in food resources coupled with differential vulnerability to predators may have negatively affected LWF recruitment and positively influenced Cisco. We will examine the spatio-temporal variability in nearshore zooplankton resources and the dietary preferences and growth of larval fish in situ. Laboratory experiments will highlight reactions of each species to food availability and vulnerability to nearshore predators.

Board Decision Year: 2019
Central Michigan University - Biology (Mt. Pleasant) McNaught, Scott ([email protected]) Active $207,585.00
1822 Feasibility of Rehabilitating and Supplementing Fisheries by Stocking Lake Whitefish in the Upper Great Lakes

Board Decision Year: 2018
Quantitative Fisheries Center, Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Bence, Jim ([email protected]) Completed $19,999.84
1806 Investigating infectious diseases as a “bottleneck” to lake whitefish (coregonus clupeaformis) recruitment

Lake whitefish declines in the four lower Great Lakes (GL) have alarmed GL fishery managers, commercial/tribal fisherman, and the public alike. This research seeks to clarify the role that infectious fish diseases play in decreasing the survival of young lake whitefish and determine routes by which such infections spread from parents to offspring. If funded, study results will help identify viable management solutions and guide future research to improve the health of GL lake whitefish.

Board Decision Year: 2018
Michigan State University - Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation (East Lansing) Loch, Thomas ([email protected]) Active $132,056.50
1791 Using Genomics to Improve Stock Structure Resolution and Assess Recruitment Dynamics of Lake Whitefish in Lake Michigan

Lake whitefish in Lake Michigan have experienced substantial fluctuations in recruitment and abundance over the last decade and much of this variation appears to be asynchronous across stocks. Genetics represents a powerful tool for stock identification that could facilitate investigation of recruitment dynamics and stock-specific harvest. However, currently available genetic markers are not powerful enough to accurately delineate stocks. Our goal is to use genomic techniques to improve resolution of stock structure in lake whitefish.

Board Decision Year: 2018
Wesley Larson - USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, UW-Stevens Point (Stevens Point) Larson, Wesley ([email protected]) Completed $33,982.52
1785 Characterization of olfactory imprinting to inform restoration of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes

We postulate that juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) learn stream-specific odors that may guide homing in spawning adults. By defining how and when olfactory imprinting occurs, we expect to inform existing and future restoration strategies that promote recruitment and genetic diversity for populations of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes.

Board Decision Year: 2018
Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Li, Weiming ([email protected]) Active $219,644.80
1783 A comprehensive evaluation and comparison of the food webs of lakes Michigan and Huron using predator diets and stable isotopes

Pelagic prey abundances in lakes Michigan and Huron are declining. Models used to quantify predator-prey balance and inform predator stocking decisions use diet data that are outdated or limited in spatiotemporal scope. We propose to conduct a comprehensive diet and stable isotope study on lakes Huron and Michigan to update and expand the application and scope of diet data. Results from this study will inform fisheries management decisions and stocking policies in both lakes.

Board Decision Year: 2018
Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Roth, Brian M. ([email protected]) Active $341,334.00
1763 Whitefish Workshop Paper

Board Decision Year: 2017
Michigan State University - Center for Systems Integration & Sustainability Taylor, Bill ([email protected]) Completed $5,000.00
1726 Inferring tributary-specific production of adult, wild steelhead to the Lake Michigan fishery using otolith chemistry

We will evaluate the source-specific production of steelhead to the Lake Michigan fishery. We have demonstrated that chemical signatures of juvenile steelhead otoliths are sufficiently differentiable among different Lake Michigan tributaries and hatcheries to support accurate natal origin assignment. Here, otoliths of adult steelhead will be collected and analyzed to quantitatively assess the mixing of stocks in the Lake Michigan fishery and identify specific sources most supportive of steelhead production.

Board Decision Year: 2017
Central Michigan University - Department of Biology and Institute for Great Lakes Research (Mt. Pleasant) Pangle, Kevin ([email protected]) Completed $152,737.39
1721 A Quantitative, Lake-Wide Assessment of Lake Trout in Lake Michigan

We will improve assessment of trends for lake trout populations and estimates of vital rates in Lake Michigan by fitting age-structured assessment models in southern and western areas of the lake where such assessments are lacking. We will combine results with those from other areas of the lake to provide a lake-wide assessment. Results will be used to develop or improve forecasting models to evaluate consequences of stocking decisions on rehabilitation status and predator-prey balance.

Board Decision Year: 2017
Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Clark Jr., Richard ([email protected]) Completed $236,687.30
1700 Using Genomic Tools to Investigate Adaptive Diversity in Great Lakes Cisco

Board Decision Year: 2017
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point - College of Natural Resources (Stevens Point) Larson, Wesley ([email protected]) Completed $105,000.00
1678 Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework

Board Decision Year: 2016
The Regents of the University of Michigan - School of Natural Resources and Environment (Ann Arbor) Riseng, Catherine ([email protected]) Completed $143,095.80
1631 Identity and Function of Lake Trout Pheromones

Board Decision Year: 2016
Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (East Lansing) Li, Weiming ([email protected]) Completed $231,211.11