Skip to main content

Institute for Fisheries Research

The Institute for Fisheries Research is a cooperative unit of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the University of Michigan. Staff here conduct research on fisheries and other aquatic resources in Michigan.

For customer service, please contact the Detroit Customer Service Center at 313-396-6890.

400 N. Ingalls Street

Room G250

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Items of Interest

  • The GIS Working Group at IFR is the primary unit developing geographic information system (GIS) tools for assisting management of aquatic ecosystems for the Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Major projects address the development of GISs and related databases on Great Lakes and inland waters of Michigan and the region.

    GIS projects include: 

    • Great Lakes Fisheries GIS. Ecosystem management of Great Lakes fisheries requires analysis of multiple, spatially explicit factors. A comprehensive GIS can facilitate analysis of factors influencing fish abundances, distributions, and harvest in the Great Lakes, and help provide information to managers as they make decisions.
    • Digital Water Atlas. The purposes of this project are to develop spatially explicit information describing the natural resources of Michigan's inland waters and to develop applications to support assessment of resource status and management options. The objective is to provide resource managers and other agencies with desktop access to such comprehensive information and applications.
    • Michigan Rivers Inventory. This long-term, collaborative research effort focuses on development of a regional, spatially explicit, inventory framework; a collaboratively managed research database; and scientific models and methods for studying the large-scale ecology of Michigan's rivers.
    • Geographic Distribution Maps of Michigan Fishes. Maps show locations of fish collections by species. The database for these maps consists of approximately 160,000 georeferenced records for collections made from 1823 to 2002.
    • National Hydrography Dataset - High Resolution. The NHD contains spatial information about surface waters and the drainage network. IFR personnel are preparing high-resolution (1:24,000) versions of this dataset for 12 USGS Cataloging Units in Michigan that contain portions of the Huron-Manistee, Hiawatha, and Ottawa National Forests.
    • Ecological Classification of Rivers for Environmental Assessment. The goal is to couple landscape-based modeling from regional data sets and land-transformation models with a valley segment ecological classification. Objectives include completion of a GIS-based river segment classification and provision of a comprehensive status and risk assessment of river systems across Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
  • The Status and Trends Program is a statewide inventory effort designed to provide information to address local and regional management issues on inland waters. The program was designed by the Resource Inventory Planning Committee and was implemented in 2002. The major components of the program involve standardization of sampling gear, statistical basis for site selection, and an expansion of traditional game fish surveys to include things such as habitat, water quality, and non-game fish. The lakes portion of the program is coordinated by staff at the Institute for Fisheries Research.

    The role of IFR staff in the status and trends of inland lakes includes development of methods for assessing shoreline development, macrophyte composition and abundance, zooplankton community composition, and fisheries surveys. In addition, IFR staff are responsible for lake selection, data base development, training, and reporting on the status and trends of inland lakes.