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Long-Term Fishery Surveys

The GLSC has conducted annual fisheries surveys on each of the Great Lakes for decades, providing the information on which important, inter-jurisdictional fishery management decisions are made. These surveys are conducted off GLSC’s fleet of five oceanographic-size research vessels. Some of the long-term data sets reach uninterrupted back to the 1970s. These data sets have been used to understand how biotic and abiotic factors drive long-term fish community and population dynamics. The surveys focus mostly on Great Lakes prey fish communities and the native predator, the lake trout. Increasingly, however, the surveys are targeting organisms lower in the food web, such as phytoplankton and zooplankton, in order to elucidate food web interactions and improve ecosystem models.