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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Spawning Site Contribution and Movements of Lake Whitefish in Northwestern Lake Michigan

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AUTHORS: Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Tom Binder, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University-Hammond Bay Biological Station; Scott Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; David Caroffino, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Daniel Dembkowski, Fisheries Analysis Center, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Charles Krueger, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Christopher Vandergoot, U. S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Erie Biological Station; Wesley Larson, U. S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Lake whitefish support important commercial and recreational fisheries on Lake Michigan, with the northern third of the lake supporting the majority of harvest. Previous genetic analyses indicated lake whitefish harvest in northwest Lake Michigan was largely supported (˜ 75%) by fish assigned to Big Bay de Noc (BBDN) and North and Moonlight bays (NMB) genetic stocks. Previous tagging suggested the BBDN stock spawned on reefs within BBDN and were usually recovered by the fishery in Green Bay north of Chambers Island or along the lake side of the Door Peninsula. Most fish from the NMB stock were thought to spawn on reefs along the lake side of Door Peninsula and the majority of tags were recovered along both sides of the Door Peninsula. While these previous studies suggested lake whitefish show relatively high spawning site fidelity, determining whether these two stocks are functionally discrete remains an important question for fishery managers. Additionally, lake whitefish assigning to multiple stocks now spawn in tributaries to Green Bay (primarily the Fox and Menominee rivers) where spawning had not been observed for nearly a century; the movements of these fish are largely unknown. We will implant acoustic transmitters in 400 lake whitefish at four different spawning locations (BBDN, NMB, Fox and Menominee rivers) during November 2017. Use of acoustic telemetry coupled with genomics will allow us to test current understanding of lake whitefish stock structure and describe stock-specific movements and spatial distribution relative to fishing effort. Use of telemetry and high-reward tags will also allow us to estimate mortality rates for these stocks, which are needed for determining safe harvest levels.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (1)