Huron Erie Walleye Spatial Ecology
Project Title: Spatial ecology, migration and mortality of adult walleye in Lake Huron and western Lake Erie
GLATOS Project Code: HECWL
Project Duration: June 2010 - December 2014
Project Description: Across the Great Lakes walleye represent an important ecological and economic fish species. Although the abundance of walleye varies among the different lakes, this species moves across large geographic areas within and among the Great Lakes. Walleye have recently recovered in Saginaw Bay and now are a major predator in Lake Huron. Consequently, information regarding the migration patterns of Great Lakes walleye stocks as it pertains to fish age, sex and spawning population will provide fishery researchers with the information needed to better manage these populations and ensure that these populations persist into the future. During the spring of 2011, fishery biologists with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Carleton University, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission collected walleye from the Tittabawassee River, Lake Huron and Maumee River, Lake Erie during the annual spawning migration. An acoustic transmitter was surgically implanted into the body cavity of two hundred walleye, 100 males and 100 females, from each river. Walleye were also tagged with two external anchor tags to alert anglers and aid in the recovery of the tag. Following the surgery walleyes were released. Movement patterns of these fish are being monitored using acoustic receivers located throughout the Tittabawassee and Maumee rivers, Lake Huron, and the Huron-Erie Corridor (Detroit and St. Clair rivers and Lake St. Clair) through 2014. Individuals catching or finding a walleye with an internal tag or external tag(s) are encouraged to report this information by filling out an electronic tag return form or calling 989-734-4768.
- Determine the proportion of walleyes spawning in the Tittabawasse River or in the Maumee River that reside in the Lake Huron main basin population, move into and through the Huron-Erie-Corridor, and reside in Lake Erie.
- Identify the environmental characteristics associated with the timing and extent of walleye movement from riverine spawning grounds into Lake Huron and back again.
- Determine whether walleye demonstrate spawning site fidelity.
- Compare unbiased estimates of mortality parameters of walleyes from Saginaw Bay and the Maumee River.
- This study will allow fisheries scientists to set system-specific harvest regulations designed to enhance and protect these populations, while maintaining appropriate levels of sustainable harvest. The information will also allow fishery scientists to manage the overall predator consumption demand on Lake Huron's prey resources.
- Todd Hayden (GLFC) - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chris Vandergoot (Ohio DNR)
- Dave Fielder (Michigan DNR)
- Steven Cooke (Carleton University)
- Todd Hayden (Carleton University)
- Chris Holbrook (U.S. Geological Survey)
- Great Lakes Fishery Commission
- Carleton University
- Ohio DNR
- Michigan DNR
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
- Greak Lakes Restoration Initiative