Three Rivers, MI, United States
Three Rivers, 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.


Wagner T.,Michigan State University | Jones M.L.,Michigan State University | Ebener M.P.,Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority | Arts M.T.,Environment Canada | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

We examined the spatial and temporal dynamics of health indicators in four lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) stocks located in northern lakes Michigan and Huron from 2003 to 2006. The specific objectives were to (1) quantify spatial and temporal variability in health indicators; (2) examine relationships among nutritional indicators and stock-specific spatial and temporal dynamics of pathogen prevalence and intensity of infection; and (3) examine relationships between indicators measured on individual fish and stock-specific estimates of natural mortality. The percent of the total variation attributed to spatial and temporal sources varied greatly depending on the health indicator examined. The most notable pattern was a downward trend in the concentration of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), observed in all stocks, in the polar lipid fraction of lake whitefish dorsal muscle tissue over the three study years. Variation among stocks and years for some indicators were correlated with the prevalence and intensity of the swimbladder nematode Cystidicola farionis, suggesting that our measures of fish health were related, at some level, with disease dynamics. We did not find relationships between spatial patterns in fish health indicators and estimates of natural mortality rates for the stocks. Our research highlights the complexity of the interactions between fish nutritional status, disease dynamics, and natural mortality in wild fish populations. Additional research that identifies thresholds of health indicators, below (or above) which survival may be reduced, will greatly help in understanding the relationship between indicators measured on individual fish and potential population-level effects. © 2009.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Madenjian C.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Pothoven S.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Schneeberger P.J.,Marquette Fisheries Research Station | Ebener M.P.,Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Dreissenid mussels have been regarded as a "dead end" in Great Lakes food webs because the degree of predation on dreissenid mussels, on a lakewide basis, is believed to be low. Waterfowl predation on dreissenid mussels in the Great Lakes has primarily been confined to bays, and therefore its effects on the dreissenid mussel population have been localized rather than operating on a lakewide level. Based on results from a previous study, annual consumption of dreissenid mussels by the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) population in central Lake Erie averaged only 6 kilotonnes (kt; 1 kt = one thousand metric tons) during 1995-2002. In contrast, our coupling of lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) population models with a lake whitefish bioenergetics model revealed that lake whitefish populations in Lakes Michigan and Huron consumed 109 and 820 kt, respectively, of dreissenid mussels each year. Our results indicated that lake whitefish can be an important predator on dreissenid mussels in the Great Lakes, and that dreissenid mussels do not represent a "dead end" in Great Lakes food webs. The Lake Michigan dreissenid mussel population has been estimated to be growing more than three times faster than the Lake Huron dreissenid mussel population during the 2000s. One plausible explanation for the higher population growth rate in Lake Michigan would be the substantially higher predation rate by lake whitefish on dreissenid mussels in Lake Huron. © 2010.


Madenjian C.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Ebener M.P.,Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority | Sepulveda M.S.,Purdue University
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2015

We determined whole-fish polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in 26 female lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and 34 male lake whitefish from northern Lake Huron. In 5 of the 26 female lake whitefish, we also determined PCB concentrations in the somatic tissue and ovaries. In addition, bioenergetics modeling was used to determine the contribution of the growth dilution effect to the observed difference in PCB concentrations between the sexes. Whole-fish PCB concentrations for females and males averaged 60. ng/g and 80. ng/g, respectively; thus males were 34% higher in PCB concentration compared with females. Based on the PCB determinations in the somatic tissue and ovaries, we predicted that PCB concentration of females would increase by 2.5%, on average, immediately after spawning due to release of eggs. Thus, the change in PCB concentration due to release of eggs did not explain, to any degree, the higher PCB concentrations observed in males compared with females. Bioenergetics modeling results indicated that the growth dilution effect could account for males being only 0.7% higher in PCB concentration compared with females. Thus, the growth dilution effect contributed very little to the observed difference in PCB concentrations between the sexes. We conclude that males were higher than females in PCB concentration most likely due to a higher rate of energy expenditure, stemming from greater activity and a greater resting metabolic rate. A higher rate of energy expenditure leads to a higher rate of food consumption, which, in turn, leads to a higher PCB accumulation rate. © 2015.


Ripley M.P.,Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority | Arbic B.,Lake Superior State University | Zimmerman G.,Lake Superior State University
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2011

This paper provides a brief history of the navigational and industrial activities that led to the St. Marys River being declared a Great Lakes Area of Concern in 1985 and serves to give context to the special issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research devoted to the St. Marys River. Although much of the river contains important fish and wildlife habitat including mostly intact coastal wetlands, the urban areas of the upper St. Marys River have been impacted over the past 100+. years by industrial and navigational development. One of the more severe impacts was the near-total destruction of the once-prolific St. Marys Rapids. Large volumes of pollution were discharged into the river including up to 10,000. kg/day of oil and grease. The invasion of sea lamprey severely reduced lake trout and other fisheries. Water quality monitoring and other studies from the 1970s to 1980s documented these problems. Enforcement of environmental regulations enacted in Canada and the United States, investments in pollution control technology by industry and the municipalities, and improved fisheries management for invasive species have resulted in improved environmental conditions, however legacy impacts remain. The on-going Remedial Action Plan (RAP) process provides a framework for continued environmental improvements. © 2011 International Association for Great Lakes Research.

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