Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Review of fish species introduced into the Great Lakes, 1819-1974

January 1, 1985

This review is based on an extensive literature search, combined with updated information obtained from biologists, and unpublished reports from private, state, and federal organizations throughout the Great Lakes basin. The chronological review lists 34 species of fishes in 13 families that were introduced into the basin from 1819 to 1974. The Salmonidae and Cyprinidae are best represented, contributing 14 and 5 of the species, respectively. The list is divided into successful and unsuccessful introductions; each species is briefly described and information about its entry into the basin and present status is given. About half of the introductions have been successful (i.e., the fish have reproduced and created viable, self-sustaining populations). Some of the successful introductions were disastrous in terms of damage inflicted on native populations (e.g., the effect of the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, on populations of lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, and lake whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis), but others yielded highly favorable results (e.g., the extraordinary sport fisheries created by introductions of coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, and chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

Publication Year 1985
Title Review of fish species introduced into the Great Lakes, 1819-1974
Authors Lee Emery
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Series Title Technical Report
Series Number 45
Index ID 2000014
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center