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Sault Sainte Marie, MI, United States

He J.X.,Lake Huron Research Station | Bence J.R.,Michigan State University | Madenjian C.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Pothoven S.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 7 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2014

We quantified piscivory patterns in the main basin of Lake Huron during 1984–2010 and found that the biomass transfer from prey fish to piscivores remained consistently high despite the rapid major trophic shift in the food webs. We coupled age-structured stock assessment models and fish bioenergetics models for lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), walleye (Sander vitreus), and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). The model system also included time-varying parameters or variables of growth, length–mass relations, maturity schedules, energy density, and diets. These time-varying models reflected the dynamic connections that a fish cohort responded to year-to-year ecosystem changes at different ages and body sizes. We found that the ratio of annual predation by lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye combined with the biomass indices of age-1 and older alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) increased more than tenfold during 1987–2010, and such increases in predation pressure were structured by relatively stable biomass of the three piscivores and stepwise declines in the biomass of alewives and rainbow smelt. The piscivore stability was supported by the use of alternative energy pathways and changes in relative composition of the three piscivores. In addition, lake whitefish became a new piscivore by feeding on round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Their total fish consumption rivaled that of the other piscivores combined, although fish were still a modest proportion of their diet. Overall, the use of alternative energy pathways by piscivores allowed the increases in predation pressure on dominant diet species. © 2015, National Research Council of Canada. All rigts reserved.

Faisal M.,Michigan State University | Fayed W.,Michigan State University | Fayed W.,Alexandria University | Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

We estimated the prevalence, intensity, and abundance of swimbladder nematode infection in 1281 lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) collected from four sites in northern lakes Huron (Cheboygan and DeTour Village) and Michigan (Big Bay de Noc and Naubinway) from fall 2003 through summer 2006. Morphological examination of nematode egg, larval, and mature stages through light and scanning electron microscopy revealed characteristics consistent with that of Cystidicola farionis Fischer 1798. Total C. farionis prevalence was 26.94%, while the mean intensity and abundance of infection was 26.72 and 7.21 nematodes/fish, respectively. Although we detected C. farionis in all four stocks that were examined, Lake Huron stocks generally had higher prevalence, intensity, and abundance of infection than Lake Michigan stocks. A distinct seasonal fluctuation in prevalence, abundance, and intensity of C. farionis was observed, which does not coincide with reported C. farionis development in other fish species. Lake whitefish that were heavily infected with C. farionis were found to have thickened swimbladder walls with deteriorated mucosa lining, which could affect swimbladder function. Whether C. farionis infection may be negatively impacting lake whitefish stocks in the Great Lakes is unclear; continued monitoring of C. farionis infection should be conducted to measure responses of lake whitefish stocks to infection levels. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Dailey F.E.,Concordia University at Wisconsin | McGraw J.E.,Concordia University at Wisconsin | Jensen B.J.,Concordia University at Wisconsin | Bishop S.S.,Concordia University at Wisconsin | And 4 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2016

Approximately 30 years ago, it was discovered that free-living bacteria isolated from cold ocean depths could produce polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (20:5n-3) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (22:6n-3), two PUFA essential for human health. Numerous laboratories have also discovered that EPA- and/or DHA-producing bacteria, many of them members of the Shewanella genus, could be isolated from the intestinal tracts of omega-3 fatty acid-rich marine fish. If bacteria contribute omega-3 fatty acids to the host fish in general or if they assist some bacterial species in adaptation to cold, then cold freshwater fish or habitats should also harbor these producers. Thus, we undertook a study to see if these niches also contained omega-3 fatty acid producers. We were successful in isolating and characterizing unique EPA-producing strains of Shewanella from three strictly freshwater native fish species, i.e., lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), lean lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and walleye (Sander vitreus), and from two other freshwater nonnative fish, i.e., coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and seeforellen brown trout (Salmo trutta). We were also able to isolate four unique free-living strains of EPA-producing Shewanella from freshwater habitats. Phylogenetic and phenotypic analyses suggest that one producer is clearly a member of the Shewanella morhuae species and another is sister to members of the marine PUFA-producing Shewanella baltica species. However, the remaining isolates have more ambiguous relationships, sharing a common ancestor with non-PUFA-producing Shewanella putrefaciens isolates rather than marine S. baltica isolates despite having a phenotype more consistent with S. baltica strains. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

Faisal M.,Michigan State University | Loch T.P.,Michigan State University | Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | Eissa A.E.,Cairo University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) from four stocks in northern Lakes Michigan and Huron were collected seasonally from fall 2003 through summer 2006 and examined for the presence of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease (BKD), using culture techniques on modified kidney disease medium (MKDM) and the quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Q-ELISA). R. salmoninarum was detected in 62.31% (according to Q-ELISA) of the 1284 examined lake whitefish, with some fish displaying the typical signs of BKD, such as renal congestion, swelling, and whitish nodules. Kidney cultures on MKDM yielded bacteria with morphological and biochemical characteristics identical to those of R. salmoninarum recovered from other Great Lakes fish species, as well as those from other parts of the world. Isolate identification was confirmed via nested polymerase chain reaction. Antibiograms demonstrated high sensitivity to enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, sensitivity to oxytetracycline, erythromycin, azithromycin, chloramphenicol, novobiocin, and carbenicillin, and resistance to polymyxin B, clindamycin, and kanamycin. Statistical analysis of R. salmoninarum prevalence and intensities revealed significant interactions among stocks, years and sampling seasons, with highest prevalence generally in fall and frequent wide variation in prevalence and intensity from one season to the next for a particular stock. It was surprising to find that the prevalence of R. salmoninarum exceeded 50% in the four stocks, much higher than originally thought. Moreover, a positive association between R. salmoninarum intensity and the abundance of the swimbladder nematode, Cystidicola farionis, was identified. Our findings suggest that Great Lakes lake whitefish are vulnerable to serious fish pathogens. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Schaeffer J.S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Fielder D.G.,Alpena Fisheries Research Station | Godby N.,Northern Lake Huron Management Unit | Bowen A.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2011

We examined trends in species composition and abundance of the St. Marys River fish community. Abundance data were available approximately once every six years from 1975 through 2006, and size and age data were available from 1995 through 2006. We also compared survey data in 2006 with results of a concurrent creel survey that year, as well as data from prior surveys spanning a 69. year time frame. The St. Marys River fish community was best characterized as a coolwater fish community with apparent little variation in species composition, and only slight variation in overall fish abundance since 1975. However, we did find recent trends in abundance among target species sought by anglers: centrarchids increased, percids appeared stable, and both northern pike Esox lucius and cisco Coregonus artedii declined. Survey results suggested that walleye (Sander vitreus) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) experienced moderate exploitation but benefited from recent strong recruitment and faster growth. Mechanisms underlying declines of northern pike and cisco were not clear; reduced abundance could have resulted from high exploitation, variation in recruitment, or a combination of both factors. Despite these challenges, the St. Marys River fish community appears remarkably stable. We suggest that managers insure that creel surveys occur simultaneously with assessments, but periodic gill net surveys may no longer provide adequate data in support of recent, more complex management objectives. While additional surveys would add costs, more frequent data might ensure sustainability of a unique fish community that supports a large proportion of angler effort on Lake Huron. © 2010 International Association for Great Lakes Research.

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