The Lake Superior fish community was sampled in 2019 with daytime bottom trawls at 76 nearshore and 35 offshore stations distributed throughout the lake. In the nearshore zone, 25,131 fish from 24 species or morphotypes were collected. The number of species collected at nearshore stations ranged from 0 to 15, with a mean of 5.6 and median of five. Nearshore mean biomass was 5.7 kg/ha which was similar to the past twenty-year average of 5.2 kg/ha and less than the 42-year period-of-record mean of 8.5 kg/ha. Lake Whitefish, Rainbow Smelt, Longnose Sucker, Bloater, lean Lake Trout, Cisco, Burbot, and siscowet Lake Trout had the highest total collected biomass. In the offshore zone, 13,145 fish from 11 species or morphotypes were collected. The number of species collected at offshore stations ranged from two to six, with a mean 3.6 and median of four. Deepwater Sculpin, Kiyi, and siscowet Lake Trout made up 99% of the total number of individuals and biomass collected in offshore waters. Mean and median offshore biomass for all species in 2019 was 7.0 kg/ha which was greater than the past eight-year average of 6.6 kg/ha. Recruitment, as measured by age-1 densities, was near the period-of-record lakewide average for Lake Whitefish (7 fish/ha) and Rainbow Smelt (137 fish/ha) and was lower than the period-of-record lakewide average for Bloater (4 fish/ha), Kiyi (1 fish/ha), and Cisco (<1 fish/ha). Lakewide average age-1 Cisco densities have been estimated at <1 fish/ha in twelve of the last twenty years. Survival of Coregonus species to age-1 continues to be a major concern of fishery managers.
|Title||Status and trends in the Lake Superior fish community, 2019|
|Authors||Mark Vinson, Lori M. Evrard, Owen Gorman, Caroline Lynn Rosinski, Daniel Yule|
|Publication Subtype||Organization Series|
|Series Title||Prey Fish Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Great Lakes Science Center|