Inter tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program

Sault Sainte Marie, MI, United States

Inter tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program

Sault Sainte Marie, MI, United States
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Li Y.,Michigan State University | Bence J.R.,Michigan State University | Zhang Z.,Dow AgroSciences | Ebener M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program
Fisheries Research | Year: 2017

Understanding fish movement patterns is vital for stock assessment and fishery management. We used a variable selection procedure in a Bayesian framework to understand what factors most likely affect the net movement distance of individual fish based on a conventional tag-recovery study of lake whitefish populations in Lake Huron during 2003–2011, where fish of this species with spawning site fidelity were tagged during the spawning season and recovered throughout the year. We found that fish with greater total length, and those that were tagged and released from tagging sites near Cheboygan and Alpena, Michigan, moved longer net distances than fish from other tagging sites. Habitat conditions also had a profound effect on net movement distance. We found that shorter movement distances by lake whitefish can be expected if the relative density of the benthic amphipod Diporeia spp. was higher near the tagging site during the recovery year. We also found evidence that lake whitefish may start their annual spawning migration runs earlier during warmer years. More generally, our Bayesian framework for analysis of conventional tagging data has potential for wide applicability, and model details and our code are provided to facilitate this. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Ebener M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program | Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | Wright G.M.,Nunns Creek Fishery Enhancement Facility | Jones M.L.,Michigan State University | Faisal M.,Michigan State University
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Adult lake whitefish were tagged and released from the Big Bay de Noc (BBN) and Naubinway (NAB) stocks in northern Lake Michigan, and the Detour (DET) and Cheboygan (CHB) stocks in northern Lake Huron during 2003-2006 to describe their spatial and temporal distributions. The contemporary spatial distributions were compared with past distributions of the BBN and NAB stocks. Sixty-two percent of BBN tag recoveries occurred in Wisconsin waters during winter, spring and summer, but 83% of fall tag recoveries were made near the tagging site. Eighty-eight percent of the NAB tag recoveries were made in the management unit of tagging and 7% occurred into northern Lake Huron. Over 90% of the DET stock remained in the vicinity of the tagging sites regardless of the season, while 75% of the CHB tag recoveries were made in northwestern Lake Huron and 17% were made in Ontario. Based on regression tree analysis, there were strong stock, season, and year effects on movement distances, with weaker effects due tosex and length attagging. Spatial distribution of the BBN stock changed from 1978-1982 to 2003-2008, but spatial distribution of the NAB stock did not. Substantial differences in movement and distribution existed among the four stocks, large seasonal differences in spatial distribution were found within some stocks, and lake whitefish exhibited strong spawning sitefidelity. Present management unit boundaries are inappropriate for managing three of our four stocks, and agencies should consider developing single harvest limits for both northern Lake Huron and western Lake Michigan. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | Ebener M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program | Sutton T.M.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Jones M.L.,Michigan State University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Although lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes have rebounded remarkably from the low abundance levels of the 1960s and 1970s, recent declines in fish growth rates and body condition have raised concerns about the future sustainability of these populations. Because of the ecological, economic, and cultural importance of lake whitefish, a variety of research projects in the Great Lakes have recently been conducted to better understand how populations may be affected by reductions in growth and condition. Based upon our participation in projects intended to establish linkages between reductions in growth and condition and important population demographic attributes (natural mortality and recruitment potential), we offer the following recommendations for future studies meant to assess the health of Laurentian Great Lakes lake whitefish populations: (1) broaden the spatial coverage of comparative studies of demographic rates and fish health; (2) combine large-scale field studies with direct experimentation; (3) conduct multi-disciplinary evaluation of stocks; (4) conduct analyses at finer spatial and temporal scales; (5) quantify stock intermixing and examine how intermixing affects harvest policy performance on individual stocks; (6) examine the role of movement in explaining seasonal fluctuations of disease and pathogen infection and transmission; (7) evaluate sampling protocols for collecting individuals for pathological and compositional examination; (8) quantify sea lamprey-induced mortality; and (9) enact long-term monitoring programs of stock health. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Dellinger M.J.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Ripley M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2016

The Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program (ITFAP) of the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, has been monitoring contaminant concentrations in the fillet portions of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) from the waters of lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan since 1991. The primary purpose of this article is to present a risk quantification of methylmercury (MeHg) that is adjusted for nutritional benefit, originally presented by Ginsberg and Toal (2009, 2015) on trends in contaminant concentrations in fillet portions of these commercial fish that we recently reported in Dellinger et al. (2014). Both species of fish caught by tribal fishermen showed clear benefits to cardiovascular health and infant neurodevelopment if consumed at a rate of six ounces per week. However, other popularly consumed fish such as cod, tuna, and tilapia are estimated to have only marginal benefit or net negative effects on cardiovascular health and infant neurodevelopment. This dynamic assessment of benefits and risks further demonstrates the importance of traditionally caught fish in tribal health. © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Rennie M.D.,University of Toronto | Rennie M.D.,University of Winnipeg | Ebener M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program | Wagner T.,U.S. Geological Survey
Advances in Limnology | Year: 2012

Migration can be a behavioural response to poor or declining home range habitat quality and can occur when the costs of migration are overcome by the benefits of encountering higherquality resources elsewhere. Despite dramatic ecosystem-level changes in the benthic food web of the Laurentian Great Lakes since the colonization of dreissenid mussels, coincident changes in condition and growth rates among benthivorous lake whitefish populations have been variable. We hypothesized that this variation could be in part mitigated by differences in migratory habits among populations, where increased migration distance can result in an increased probability of encountering high-quality habitat (relative to the home range). Results from four Great Lakes populations support this hypothesis; relative growth rates increased regularly with migration distance. The population with the largest average migration distance also had the least reduction in size-at-age during a period of significant ecosystem change and among the highest estimated consumption and activity rates. In comparison, the population with the greatest declines in size-at-age was among the least mobile, demonstrating only moderate rates of consumption and activity. The least mobile population of lake whitefish was supported by a remnant Diporeia population and has experienced only moderate temporal growth declines. Our study provides evidence for the potential role of migration in mitigating the effects of ecosystem change on lake whitefish populations. © 2012 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 70176 Stuttgart, Germany.

Moths M.D.,Concordia University at Chicago | Dellinger J.A.,Concordia University at Chicago | Holub B.,University of Guelph | Ripley M.P.,Inter tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program | And 2 more authors.
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2013

Dietary fish must be assessed for benefits and risks to formulate risk management strategies. This article demonstrates that Laurentian Great Lakes (GL) freshwater species are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids using new data from a small sample (n = 7) of Lake Superior siscowet lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush siscowet) and five other GL fish species' data. For Lake Superior (LS) siscowets, the saturates, mono-unsaturates, and poly-unsaturates composed 20.1, 40.7, and 39.1% of total lipid weight, respectively. Omega-3 poly-unsaturates (PUFAs) in these fish were more than twice the omega-6 (omega 3/6 ratio = 2.4). The LS lake trout data were combined with earlier LS data collected during the 1980s for eight other species and from five species of Lake Erie fish. All the GL freshwater species were compared with seven other published marine and freshwater fish studies from other global regions. PUFAs were compared based on latitude and marine versus freshwater origin. Differences between marine and freshwater species in omega-3 fatty acid were less at higher latitudes. GL freshwater fish species can be a good source of beneficial fats like marine fish and must be accounted in effective risk communications involving persistent bioaccumulative toxicants in dietary fish. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Dellinger J.A.,Concordia University at Chicago | Moths M.D.,Concordia University at Chicago | Dellinger M.J.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Ripley M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2014

Although dietary concerns of Laurentian Great Lakes (GL) fish focus on the risk from persistent bioaccumulative toxicant (PBT) contaminants, fish are also an important source of nutrients beneficial to human health such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid). This study presents PBT trend data from the GL tribal fisheries over the past 20 years. PBT contaminants (282 analytes) from fillet portions of lake trout and whitefish were analyzed for trending patterns from 1992 to 2011 and are reported on five of the ATSDR/USEPA Great Lakes biomonitoring legacy contaminants (Hg, ΣDDE, ΣDDT, HCB, mirex, and ΣPCBs), two of the optional biomonitoring PBTs (toxaphene and Σdioxins/furans) and PCB 153 as a specific congener marker. Similar to other recent reports our data indicate that most PBT contaminant concentrations in the GL biota have decreased, which may indicate progress in reducing environmental emissions. Our research confirms that all contaminants demonstrate significant declines except Hg and toxaphene. Both of those remained constant after correcting for known independent factors of age, lipid, and size. These results are potentially encouraging and may provide useful data for the long distance and perhaps global influences of PBTs on the safety of fish consumption. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

PubMed | Concordia University at Wisconsin, Inter tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program and University of Maryland Baltimore County
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Applied and environmental microbiology | Year: 2015

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.

Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | Jones M.L.,Michigan State University | Ebener M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

We used Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the sensitivity of tag-recovery mortality estimates to inaccuracies in tag shedding, handling mortality, and tag reporting. The data-generating model used in the simulations assumed that tagging was conducted annually for 4 years with tag recoveries occurring over a 4-year period. Several different combinations of instantaneous fishing (F) and natural (M) mortality were evaluated in the simulations. The data-generating model additionally assumed that immediate-shedding and handling-mortality rates equaled 2.5% and 0%, respectively, and that chronic shedding was a sigmoidal function of months since tagging. Two spatial patterns of reporting rates were considered-one where reporting was a function of distance from the tagging site and one where reporting was a random generation across the study area. Maximum likelihood estimates of F and M were calculated from the recovery of tags from the data-generating model under different assumed rates of tag shedding, handling mortality, and tag reporting. We found that assumptions about reporting rates resulted in the most variability in mortality estimates regardless of which combination of F and M was evaluated, with assumptions about chronic shedding also contributing substantially to overall variability in mortality estimates for most mortality combinations. Assumptions about immediate tag shedding and handling mortality had relatively minor effects on mortality estimates compared to reporting rate. When planning a tag-recovery study, care should be taken to ensure that chronic shedding and tag-reporting rates are accurately measured, as inaccurate measurements in these factors can result in significant errors in mortality estimates. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Ebener M.P.,Inter Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program | Brenden T.O.,Michigan State University | Jones M.L.,Michigan State University
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

We analyzed tag-recovery data to estimate instantaneous fishing (F) and natural mortality (M) rates of four lake whitefish stocks in lakes Michigan and Huron during 2004-2007. We tagged and released 22,452 adult lake whitefish of which 8.7% were subsequently recovered. Annual tag-reporting rates ranged from 17.8% to 56.2%. Tag retention was high for the first 5-6 months after tagging, but tag loss increased substantially thereafter. Nine tag-recovery models were evaluated with respect to whether F and/or M varied among stocks, lakes, or years. There was support for three models based on Akaike information criteria. The best model had yearly and stock-specific estimates of F of 0.03 to 0.79 and lake-specific estimates of M of 0.35 for Lake Michigan and 0.60 for Lake Huron. The second best model had yearly and stock-specific estimates of F of 0.04 to 0.71 and a constant estimate for M of 0.52. The third model had yearly and stock-specific estimates of F of 0.04 to 0.85 and stock-specific estimates of M of 0.32 to 0.67. Model-averaged estimates of F ranged from 0.04 to 0.78 and were substantially different than statistical catch-at-age estimates of F. Model-averaged estimates of M ranged from 0.40 to 0.59 and were greater than estimates obtained from prediction equations, possibly due to sea lamprey-induced mortality. We recommend that tag-recovery estimates of F and M be used as Bayesian priors in future lake whitefish stock assessments to help refine mortality estimates for the stocks. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

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