Fishery managers in the Great Lakes and coastal marine systems need to be able to make predictions as they attempt to manage fisheries in ecosystems that are constantly changing. Problems such as habitat loss, eutrophication, non-indigenous species invasions, and climate change all pose challenges to making the predictions that are needed in fishery management scenarios. For example, in the Great Lakes, recent changes in the benthic community, particularly the invasion by Dreissena mussels and subsequent decline of Diporeia, have been tied to changes in planktivorous fish distribution and abundance. The invasion of the predatory zooplanktors, Bythotrephes longimanus and Cercopagis pengoi may be affecting fish diet selectivity and zooplankton availability. Changes in forage fish abundance, condition, and distribution may be affecting predator fish (Pacific salmon, lake trout) condition and distribution in Lake Huron. Changes in lake whitefish condition and distribution are affecting commercial fishery harvests in Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Michigan. In Lake Erie, low productivity and forage fish abundance may be contributing to low harvests of walleye in the lake. In the Chesapeake Bay, eutrophication and introduced bacteria have affected Morone spp. fisheries, and the harmful parasite MSX that is devastating oyster fisheries may be an introduced species. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Improve our knowledge and understanding of food web processes and dynamics and their relationship to environmental quality and living resources in Great Lakes and coastal marine ecosystems with an emphasis on fish ecology. 2) Apply this knowledge to better understand the causes, effects, and solutions to problems such as eutrophication, toxic contaminants, nonindigenous species invasions, habitat modification, and climatic variation. A comparison across the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes will provide further insight. Accomplishments: Analysis was completed on effects of hypoxia on bioenergetic growth potential for striped bass and bay anchovy in the Chesapeake Bay, and on foraging and distribution of yellow perch in Lake Erie.
Aquatic Nuisance Species
- Annex Numbers
Annex NumbersResearch & Development
- Annex 17
Annex 17Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicityEffects of varying lake levels and relation to pollution sources, fate and effectsImpact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitatsMass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components