Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station

Charlevoix, MI, United States

Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station

Charlevoix, MI, United States
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Claramunt R.M.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station | Muir A.M.,Purdue University | Sutton T.M.,Purdue University | Sutton T.M.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Many lake whitefish stocks in Lake Michigan have experienced substantial declines in growth and condition since the 1990s. Reduced growth and condition could result in reduced quality or quantity of eggs produced by spawning females, which in turn could negatively impact recruitment. We evaluated the potential for reduced recruitment by measuring early life stage density and length, and we discuss the utility of these measures as early indicators of lake whitefish year-class strength. Overall, mean larval density (number per 1000 m3±SE) in Lake Michigan was greater in 2006 (373.7±28.3) than in 2005 (16.6±24.8); whereas, mean length (mm±SE) of larval lake whitefish was smaller in 2006 (12.87±0.07) than in 2005 (14.38± 0.13). The ratio of zooplankton to fish density did not show an expected relationship with larval fish density or length. Rather, variation in larval density was best explained by a multiple-regression model that included larval length, spring wind intensity, and adult stock density as predictor variables. Our results suggest that the density of larval lake whitefish is not directly regulated by temperature or zooplankton density at the time of emergence, but that a potential for density-dependent regulation exists when larval emergence rates are high. We conclude that the observed declines in growth and condition of adult lake whitefish are not resulting in substantial reductions in recruitment. © 2009.


O'Keefe D.M.,Michigan State University | Wesander D.L.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station | Oh C.-O.,Chonnam National University
Fisheries | Year: 2015

From 2002 to 2011, the number of charter fishing trips in Michigan waters of Lake Huron declined by 51%. Declines in catch rates, rising gasoline prices, and the economic downturn have been suggested as possible reasons for this decline. To better understand the relative importance of these factors, five catch-based and six economic variables were evaluated using multiple regression, with charter effort from 1992 to 2011 as the response variable. Declining catch rate of introduced Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha was more closely linked to declining effort than catch rate of native Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush or Walleye Sander vitreus. The price of gasoline was a better predictor of effort than other economic variables. Although Chinook Salmon catch rate explained more variation in charter effort than any other variable, factors beyond the influence of fisheries management also influenced effort. Ecosystem changes that led to declines in salmon abundance created favorable conditions for Walleye, leading to some localized increases in charter effort. © 2015, American Fisheries Society.


Janetski D.J.,Grand Valley State University | Ruetz III C.R.,Grand Valley State University | Bhagat Y.,Grand Valley State University | Bhagat Y.,Barr Engineering Co. | Clapp D.F.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society | Year: 2013

We assessed recruitment dynamics of juvenile Yellow Perch Perca flavescens in coastal habitats of eastern Lake Michigan. To investigate recruitment patterns and associations with environmental factors in a coastal drowned river mouth (DRM) lake, we sampled juvenile Yellow Perch seasonally in Muskegon Lake, Michigan, during 2003-2011. We also sampled three nearshore sites in Lake Michigan each fall to evaluate synchrony between the DRM lake and nearshore habitat. In Muskegon Lake, age-0 Yellow Perch CPUE during fall was high in 2005 and 2007; moderate in 2008, 2010, and 2011; and low in other years. Fall CPUE (age 0) was positively associated with CPUE in the next spring (age 1; slope = 0.98; R2 = 0.95), which we attribute to high overwinter survival. Fall CPUE of age-0 Yellow Perch showed a positive relationship with June air temperature (R2 = 0.76), suggesting that warm conditions at early larval stages positively influence recruitment of juveniles. Juvenile recruitment in Muskegon Lake was not synchronized with juvenile recruitment in nearshore Lake Michigan. The lack of synchrony may be an indication that (1) age-0 Yellow Perch recruitment in DRM lakes and Lake Michigan are influenced by different environmental controls and (2) dispersal between the two habitats does not strongly affect age-0 recruitment dynamics.Received August 6, 2012; accepted December 1, 2012. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Claramunt R.M.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station | Barton N.T.,Central Michigan University | Fitzsimons J.D.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Galarowicz T.L.,Central Michigan University
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

In 2006 the bloody-red mysid (Hemimysis anomala), a new invasive species to the Great Lakes, was discovered in the Muskegon channel which flows into Lake Michigan. As predicted at the time of introduction, it quickly expanded its range in Lake Michigan and has recently been documented in Grand Traverse Bay near Elk Rapids, Michigan. Its effects on Great Lakes ecosystems, however, remain unclear owing to a lack of information on its abundance. Using a gear intended to sample lake trout and lake whitefish eggs from cobble substrate during spawning, we found variable densities of Hemimysis at three near shore reefs at Elk Rapids, Lake Michigan over a two year period. The highest densities of Hemimysis were found at the reef with the highest quality fish (i.e., lake trout and lake whitefish) spawning habitat based on the proportion of rounded cobble and rubble substrates, and the amount of interstitial space. Abundance of Hemimysis on all reefs was highly seasonally dependent, ranging from 0 to 31.4 per m 2. The highest numbers were seen during the fall when water temperatures were between 6 and 12 °C. Based on the association of Hemimysis with cobble substrates and the abundance of this type of habitat in northeastern Lake Michigan, we predict substantial expansion of Hemimysis in this area of the lake. Additional evaluation of Hemimysis on fish spawning habitat is needed to determine potential interactions with other Great Lakes biota, particularly larval fish with which they may compete. © 2011.


Jacobs G.R.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Madenjian C.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Bunnell D.B.,U.S. Geological Survey | Warner D.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Claramunt R.M.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society | Year: 2013

Since Pacific salmon stocking began in Lake Michigan, managers have attempted to maintain salmon abundance at high levels within what can be sustained by available prey fishes, primarily Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus. Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha are the primary apex predators in pelagic Lake Michigan and patterns in their prey selection (by species and size) may strongly influence pelagic prey fish communities in any given year. In 1994-1996, there were larger Alewives, relatively more abundant alternative prey species, fewer Chinook Salmon, and fewer invasive species in Lake Michigan than in 2009-2010. The years 2009-2010 were instead characterized by smaller, leaner Alewives, fewer alternative prey species, higher abundance of Chinook Salmon, a firmly established nonnative benthic community, and reduced abundance of Diporeia, an important food of Lake Michigan prey fish. We characterized Chinook Salmon diets, prey species selectivity, and prey size selectivity between 1994-1996 and 2009-2010 time periods. In 1994-1996, Alewife as prey represented a smaller percentage of Chinook Salmon diets than in 2009-2010, when alewife comprised over 90% of Chinook Salmon diets, possibly due to declines in alternative prey fish populations. The size of Alewives eaten by Chinook Salmon also decreased between these two time periods. For the largest Chinook Salmon in 2009-2010, the average size of Alewife prey was nearly 50 mm total length shorter than in 1994-1996. We suggest that changes in the Lake Michigan food web, such as the decline in Diporeia, may have contributed to the relatively low abundance of large Alewives during the late 2000s by heightening the effect of predation from top predators like Chinook Salmon, which have retained a preference for Alewife and now forage with greater frequency on smaller Alewives.Received March 24, 2012; accepted October 1, 2012. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Kaemingk M.A.,Central Michigan University | Galarowicz T.L.,Central Michigan University | Clevenger J.A.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station | Clapp D.F.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2011

Fish movement may vary across a wide array of aquatic ecosystems and may be related to the overall size of the system inhabited. We investigated movement of smallmouth bass in Lake Michigan because this information is lacking for larger systems. A total of 16 smallmouth bass were surgically implanted with ultrasonic transmitters within the Beaver Archipelago, northern Lake Michigan. During 2007-2008, a maximum of one location per individual was recorded daily during three specific tracking periods - pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn - to determine diurnal movement patterns. Movement was evaluated as site fidelity, minimum displacement rate, maximum excursion rate, and distance from shore. Smallmouth bass exhibited greater maximum excursion rates during the spawn period compared to pre-spawn. Movement rates did not differ between tracking periods; however, movement rates were greater during the spawn period in 2007 than 2008. Both sexes moved further offshore to deeper water during post-spawn, but females were located further offshore than males during this period. Annual site fidelity was more evident during post-spawn than during spawning for both sexes. Two smallmouth bass emigrated outside of the Archipelago, suggesting this population may be more "open" in terms of individuals moving throughout northern Lake Michigan than previously thought. These results indicate smallmouth bass may move greater distances in larger aquatic systems and therefore larger management units (in terms of total area) should be established in Lake Michigan to account for these greater excursion distances. © 2011.


Pothoven S.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Vanderploeg H.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Warner D.M.,Great Lakes Science Center | Schaeffer J.S.,Great Lakes Science Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

We compared Bythotrephes population demographics and dynamics to predator (planktivorous fish) and prey (small-bodied crustacean zooplankton) densities at a site sampled through the growing season in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie. Although seasonal average densities of Bythotrephes were similar across lakes (222/m 2 Erie, 247/m 2 Huron, 162/m 2 Michigan), temporal trends in abundance differed among lakes. In central Lake Erie where Bythotrephes' prey assemblage was dominated by small individuals (60%), where planktivorous fish densities were high (14,317/ha), and where a shallow water column limited availability of a deepwater refuge, the Bythotrephes population was characterized by a small mean body size, large broods with small neonates, allocation of length increases mainly to the spine rather than to the body, and a late summer population decline. By contrast, in Lake Michigan where Bythotrephes' prey assemblage was dominated by large individuals (72%) and planktivorous fish densities were lower (5052/ha), the Bythotrephes population was characterized by a large mean body size (i.e., 37-55% higher than in Erie), small broods with large neonates, nearly all growth in body length occurring between instars 1 and 2, and population persistence into fall. Life-history characteristics in Lake Huron tended to be intermediate to those found in Lakes Michigan and Erie, reflecting lower overall prey and predator densities (1224/ha) relative to the other lakes. Because plasticity in life history can affect interactions with other species, our findings point to the need to understand life-history variation among Great Lakes populations to improve our ability to model the dynamics of these ecosystems. © 2011.


Madenjian C.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Bunnell D.B.,U.S. Geological Survey | Warner D.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Pothoven S.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2015

Using various available time series for Lake Michigan, we examined changes in the Lake Michigan food web following the dreissenid mussel invasions and identified those changes most likely attributable to these invasions, thereby providing a synthesis. Expansion of the quagga mussel (. Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) population into deeper waters, which began around 2004, appeared to have a substantial predatory effect on both phytoplankton abundance and primary production, with annual primary production in offshore (>. 50. m deep) waters being reduced by about 35% by 2007. Primary production likely decreased in nearshore waters as well, primarily due to predatory effects exerted by the quagga mussel expansion. The drastic decline in Diporeia abundance in Lake Michigan during the 1990s and 2000s has been attributed to dreissenid mussel effects, but the exact mechanism by which the mussels were negatively affecting Diporeia abundance remains unknown. In turn, decreased Diporeia abundance was associated with reduced condition, growth, and/or energy density in alewife (. Alosa pseudoharengus), lake whitefish (. Coregonus clupeaformis), deepwater sculpin (. Myoxocephalus thompsonii), and bloater (. Coregonus hoyi). However, lake-wide biomass of salmonines, top predators in the food web, remained high during the 2000s, and consumption of alewives by salmonines actually increased between the 1980-1995 and 1996-2011 time periods. Moreover, abundance of the lake whitefish population, which supports Lake Michigan's most valuable commercial fishery, remained at historically high levels during the 2000s. Apparently, counterbalancing mechanisms operating within the complex Lake Michigan food web have enabled salmonines and lake whitefish to retain relatively high abundances despite reduced primary production. © 2015 .


Tsehaye I.,Michigan State University | Jones M.L.,Michigan State University | Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | Bence J.R.,Michigan State University | Claramunt R.M.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society | Year: 2014

We combined statistical stock assessment methods with bioenergetic calculations to assess historical changes in abundance and consumptive demand of the hatchery-supported salmonine community in Lake Michigan, with the goal of providing information needed to examine the lake's predator-prey balance. Especially for Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, the most dominant salmonine predator in the lake, our analysis revealed density-dependent changes in growth, survival, production levels, consumptive demand, and fishery characteristics, suggesting that increased salmonine abundance possibly had substantial impacts on prey abundance that led to predators being food limited. Indeed, the estimated changes in the salmonine community were consistent with historical changes in prey abundances that were previously documented for Lake Michigan. Specifically, higher salmonine abundance and consumption were estimated for the early 1980s, during which time Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus abundance experienced a marked decline, leading to a Chinook Salmon mass mortality event in 1987. Similarly, increased salmonine abundance and consumption were estimated for the years since the early 2000s, and the Alewife population in Lake Michigan has been driven to historically low levels during these years. Increased salmonine abundance estimates in recent years were attributable to improved survival rates and natural reproduction of Chinook Salmon. Although past revisions to stocking rates may have been reasonable measures taken to stabilize the predator-prey system, our analysis suggests that recent reductions in stocking have not been sufficient to reduce predatory pressure on the Alewife population; however, they may have ameliorated potential effects of increased natural reproduction of Chinook Salmon. Along with a complementary assessment of the production dynamics of key prey species, our retrospective assessment of the dynamics of the Lake Michigan predator community and their consumptive demands can provide the basis for making future fishery management decisions from an ecosystem perspective. Received March 19, 2013; accepted October 25, 2013. © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Diana J.S.,University of Michigan | Hanchin P.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station | Popoff N.,Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2014

The purpose of this study was to identify spawning habitat, determine home ranges, and examine movement patterns for a naturally reproducing population of Great Lakes muskellunge in the lower Antrim County chain of lakes, Michigan. Muskellunge spawning sites were identified by tracking of implanted muskellunge using a directional hydrophone and by nighttime spotlight surveys. All spawning fish tagged in Torch or Clam Lake spawned in Clam Lake, while most spawning fish tagged in Elk or Skegemog Lake spawned in the Torch River; one appeared to spawn in Lake Skegemog. Of the 32 potential spawning sites, 28 (87.5 %) contained submerged aquatic vegetation as the dominant habitat type, while the remaining 4 sites were divided equally between woody debris (6.25 %) and bare substrate. All but one implanted muskellunge returned from spawning sites to the same lake in which they were captured and implanted. Of the 24 tagged muskellunge, four were harvested via angling or spearing within 1 year after tagging, and two additional fish were assumed harvested when contact was lost. Implanted muskellunge tended to remain in the lakes during the winter, then move into spawning areas in spring, eventually returning to open lake sites where they resided over summer. Muskellunge movement behavior diverged after spawning each year, with 11 tagged fish (61.1 %) remaining in Skegemog or Clam Lake for the summer, and seven individuals traveling to Elk or Torch Lake. Muskellunge home ranges averaged 612 ha and ranged from 17 to 5,287 ha. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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