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PLEASE NOTE: The schedule posted here is as of 1/25/16, and is subject to change. Please check back for updates.
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Monday, January 25 • 11:00am - 11:20am
A Beach Seine-Based Coregonid Recruitment Survey: “Multi-Agency Collaboration In The Bag!”

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AUTHORS: Kevin Donner, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; Barry Weldon, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

ABSTRACT: Dynamic shoreline environments of the Great Lakes directly and indirectly influence basin-wide ecological processes and likely influence the strength of recruitment events for an array of ecologically, commercially, and culturally important fish species. Lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis are among the most valuable commercial fish species in the Great Lakes basin and occupy shoreline habitats during the first three to four months of life. Lake whitefish recruitment is highly variable and may be largely determined during this critical time period. During 2013, several agencies collaboratively initiated a relatively inexpensive, low effort, standardized beach seining survey with the intent of indexing the abundance young of the year (25-55mm) coregonids. As of 2015, the survey is standardized, coordinated, and conducted at 51 sites across Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior by tribal, state, and federal agencies as well as one university. This growing collaborative effort has documented substantial variability in juvenile whitefish abundance, growth, and timing. Average whitefish catches were relatively high in 2015 relative to previous years, particularly Saginaw Bay and Green Bay. In addition, data collected during the survey has documented the occurrence of juvenile cisco Coregonus artedi throughout northeastern Lake Michigan, and represents one of the most comprehensive datasets of shoreline fish community structure assembled in the Great Lakes basin. Preliminary analyses, future dataset uses, and potential implications of the survey are discussed.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am EST