Current Studies

The following list provides titles and objectives for some of the studies currently being conducted by Marquette Fisheries Research Station staff with funds from the Sport Fish Restoration and Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act, the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust, and Fisheries Division.

Study 495: Assessment of lake trout populations in Michigan waters of Lake Superior.
Study Objectives: (1) to annually (or semi-annually) determine relative abundance, length and age composition, sex and maturity, sea lamprey wounding, growth, and mortality for lean and siscowet lake trout in Michigan's Lake Superior lake trout management areas; (2) to periodically determine relative abundance, diet, and biological variables (age, growth, etc.) of lake trout varieties, other predator fish, and forage fish at various depth strata in Lake Superior; (3) To calculate total allowable catch (TAC) for lake trout in Michigan's Lake Superior management areas.

Study 521: Influence of lotic and nearshore habitats on fish populations in Great Lakes and inland lake ecosystems, with emphasis on walleye.
Study Objectives: (1) to assess the extent of natural reproduction of walleye in the Michigan waters of Green Bay via marking stocked fish with oxytetracycline (OTC) and describing their contribution to walleye year classes; (2) to assess the relative influence of river spawning habitat, estuary conditions, juvenile-adult growth habitat, and supplemental stocking on spawning runs of walleye (and estimates of percent natural reproduction) in various river-influenced systems in Michigan, and; (3) to determine if discrete river- and reef-spawning walleye stocks occur in select areas of Green Bay.

Study 543: Sturgeon Streamside Rearing (Whitefish River and Cedar River).
Study Objectives: (1) Setup and debug streamside hatchery trailers for lake sturgeon; (2) Collect gametes; (3) Rear and monitor fish (growth, etc.); (4) Collect tissue samples for genetic analysis, PIT tag fish; (5) Stock fish and monitor post-stocking dispersal/movement; (6) Analyze data and write reports.

Study 549: Assessment of lake whitefish stocks in Michigan waters of the upper Great Lakes.
Study Objectives: (1) to design, maintain, and improve collections of biological data (e.g., length, weight, age structures, sex, maturity, pathological) from lake whitefish harvested by state-licensed commercial fisheries, and to conduct comparative analyses for discrete lake whitefish stocks; (2) to design, use, and improve standard procedures for age and maturity assignments, including regular evaluation of accuracies for these assignments, and stock-specific comparisons for these assignments using different methods; (3) to design, use, and improve a state-wide database for the above biological and pathological data collection; (4) to analyze catch and effort data from state-licensed commercial fisheries, with fisher-specific values of covariates as necessary, and standardize indices of catch-per-unit effort for discrete lake whitefish stocks; (5) to design, maintain, and improve fishery-independent surveys on lake whitefish stocks, such as experimental gillnetting surveys and bottom trawl surveys for developing lake whitefish recruitment indices, and to enable comparative analyses for discrete lake whitefish stocks; (6) to use a modeling approach in assessment of discrete lake whitefish stocks, to estimate their long term sustainable yield, and to recommend annual harvest quotas or assess current status of populations.

Study 552: Groundwater conservation advisory council.
Study Objective: (1) asses the effects of stream flow reduction on fish communities; (2) develop computer models and other tools to help evaluate whether sites are suitable for large groundwater withdrawals.

Studies 563: Lake sturgeon population status in the Cheboygan River watershed lakes, Michigan.
Study Objectives: (1) Assess lake sturgeon population status in Burt and Mullett lakes by sampling in the lakes and during the spawning run in rivers tributary to lakes. (2) Monitor lake sturgeon reproduction by hatchery and wild adults in the upper Black River by sampling adults and drifting larvae.

Studies 564: Hooking mortality of lake trout in the upper Great Lakes.
Study Objectives: (1) Estimate hooking mortality rate of lake trout in Michigan waters of lakes Superior and Huron. (2) Compare hooking mortality rates of bloated versus non-bloated caught and released lake trout. (3) Assess the influence of season, total length, lake, depth of capture, handling time, surface water temperature, fishing gear, fishing method, and anatomical hooking site on lake trout hooking mortality.

Study 737: Status and trends of fish populations and community structure in Michigan streams.
Study Objectives: (1) Characterize fish community structure and the abundance, presence, and distribution of fish populations in a variety of stream types across the state; (2) quantify the baseline level of variation in fish population abundance and community structure in a variety of stream types for use in interpreting individual field samples; (3) describe long-term trends in fish community structure and fish population abundance in valuable trout and smallmouth bass streams and representative small coldwater streams across the state; (4) track changes in survival and growth of salmonids and smallmouth bass over time; (5) examine the relation between temporal changes in fish population size and structure and instream habitat; (6) identify appropriate spatial scales for describing regional trends (if any exist) in fish community structure and fish population abundance; (7) compare temporal patterns in resident salmonid abundance, growth, and recruitment among and between land-locked and potamodromous coldwater streams; (8) oversee continued implementation, coordination, and maintenance of the database.

Study 747: Assessment of nearshore fish communities in northern Lake Michigan.
Study Objectives: (1) To provide higher resolution data on trends in Bays de Noc fish populations; (2) To provide indices of adult abundance, year class strength, sex, and age structure of walleye and yellow perch in BDN (and other areas of northern Lake Michigan when possible), as well as samples of juvenile walleye to examine for oxytetracycline (hatchery) marks; and; (3) To provide periodic data on fish community composition for under-sampled nearshore areas of northern Lake Michigan.

Some recent Fisheries Division reports related to current and completed MFRS studies may be found at the Fisheries Library.