Forecasting Climate Change Induced Effects on Recreational and Commercial Fish Populations in the Great Lakes

Science Center Objects

Great Lakes fishery managers and stakeholders have little information regarding how climate change could affect the management and conservation of fish populations, including those of high recreational and commercial value. Scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS) worked closely with state management agencies and the National Wildlife Federation to complete several objectives that provid...

Great Lakes fishery managers and stakeholders have little information regarding how climate change could affect the management and conservation of fish populations, including those of high recreational and commercial value. Scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS) worked closely with state management agencies and the National Wildlife Federation to complete several objectives that provide knowledge to aid their planning and management strategies in anticipation of coming changes. First, researchers updated a regional Great Lakes climate model to predict water level changes, water temperatures, and ice cover data for the entire Great Lakes basin 50-100 years into the future. Second, researchers used satellite data to determine whether the recent climate warming has influenced the timing and magnitude of algal production in lakes Michigan and Huron. Third, they used long-term data sets and time series models to explore how climate influences variability in fish production in lakes Michigan and Huron. These models were then used along with future climate predictions to forecast future fish production over the next 50-100 years in these lakes. Finally, researchers used bioenergetics modeling to explore how warmer water temperatures will influence the growth and consumption rates of several managed Great Lakes fish species.