Deepwater Habitats

Science Center Objects

Deepwater habitats, such as the Great Lakes, are a key strategic resource and driver of economic vitality that are threatened by multiple stressors, including overfishing, invasions of exotic species, habitat degradation, pollution, climate change, and harmful algal blooms. Under the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, the Department of Interior is responsible for conducting a comprehensive research and monitoring program to support multi-jurisdictional recreational and commercial fisheries, tribal harvest, allocation decisions, and fish stocking activities worth $7.0 billion annually. Our deepwater research includes monitoring for presence of specific fish species over large geographic areas, assessment of total fish biomass in multiple lakes, understanding lake-wide implications of invasive species on fisheries production, understanding factors that contribute to development of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS), and piloting an early warning system for detection of human pathogens.

Learn more about our research by visiting the web pages below.

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Bioenergetics of Great Lakes Fishes

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Fish bioenergetics modeling, which involves quantification of the fish's energy budget, has played an important role in managing Great Lakes fisheries, as well as other fisheries around the world. 

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Lake Michigan Benthic Prey Fish

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Since it became a lakewide survey in 1973, the Lake Michigan bottom trawl study has played a critical role in understanding the ecosystem dynamics and in managing the fisheries of Lake Michigan. Its primary role is to provide annual estimates of prey fish abundance to guide the decision of state agencies in the stocking of piscivorous fish.

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Pelagic Fish Dynamics in Lakes Michigan and Huron

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

This study has developed from one focused on providing annual measures of abundance of key forage fish like alewife, rainbow smelt, and bloater,  that were complementary to bottom trawl data to one focused on understanding the lakewide patterns in abundance, distribution, life history, and interactions of these fish. 

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Population Structure

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Knowledge of fish population structure is important for management and restoration because fish population growth is affected by the age distribution of the population as well as genetic mixing that occurs within and between subpopulations. 

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Natural Lake Trout Strain Identification in Lake Huron

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

Lake trout were extirpated from the Great Lakes as a result of habitat alteration, commercial over-harvest, and sea lamprey predation.  Considerable financial commitments have been made to restore lake trout to the Great Lakes by stocking, habitat restoration, and sea lamprey control. 

 

 

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