Christopher M Holbrook


Research Themes

My research supports native fish restoration and fishery management in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Most of my work uses fish tracking technology (telemetry) to fill gaps in knowledge of species ecology and population dynamics at scales or resolutions that could not be achieved with other methods. Current research projects focus on the following theme areas:

  • sea lamprey ecology, population assessment, and alternative control;
  • improving fisheries management and restoration with better understanding of spatial ecology, demographics, and population dynamics; and
  • improving aquatic animal tracking methods and capabilities.



Ph.D. Fisheries and Wildlife. Michigan State University. 2015
M.S. Zoology. University of Maine. 2007
B.S. Zoology. University of Maine. 2004



2010 - Present.  Research Fish Biologist.  USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Hammond Bay Biological Station
2007 - 2010.      Fishery Biologist.  USGS Western Fisheries Research Center, Columbia River Research Laboratory
2005 - 2007.      Graduate Research Assistant.  University of Maine, Department of Biological Sciences
2002 - 2004.      Biological Science Technician.  NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Maine Field Station



Krueger, C.C., Holbrook, C.M., Binder, T.R., Vandergoot, C.S., Hayden, T.O., Hondorp, D.W., Nate, N.A., Paige, K., Riley, S.C., Fisk, A.T., and S.J. Cooke. In press. Acoustic Telemetry Observation Systems: Challenges encountered and overcome in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 

Binder, T.R., Farha, S.A., Thompson, H.T., Holbrook, C.M., Bergstedt, R.A., Ebener, M.P., Riley, S.C., Bronte, C.R., He, J., and C.C. Krueger. In press. Fine-scale acoustic telemetry reveals unexpected lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, spawning habitats in northern Lake Huron. North America. Ecology of Freshwater Fish.

Kessel, S.T., Hondorp, D.W., Holbrook, C.M., Boase, J.C., Chiotti, J.A., Thomas, M.V., Wills, T.C., Roseman, E.F., and C.C. Krueger. 2018. Divergent migration within lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) populations in an unfragmented landscape. Journal of Animal Ecology. 87:259-273. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12772

Hayden, T.A., Binder, T.R., Holbrook, C.M., Vandergoot, C.S., Fielder, D.G., Cooke, S.J., Dettmers, J.M., and C.C. Krueger. 2018. Spawning site fidelity and apparent survival of Walleye (Sander vitreus) differs between a Lake Huron and Lake Erie tributary. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. 27:339–349. DOI: 10.1111/eff.12350

Rous, A.M., McLean, A.R., Barber, J., Bravener, G., Castro-Santos, T., Holbrook, C.M., Imre, I., Pratt, T.C., and R.L. McLaughlin. 2017. Spatial mismatch between sea lamprey behaviour and trap location explains low success at trapping for control. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 74: 2085–2097. DOI: /10.1139/cjfas-2016-0445

Kusnierz, P.C., and C.M. Holbrook. 2017.  Relative performance of three stream bed stability indices as indicators of stream health. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 189:563. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-017-6291-x

Hondorp, D.W., Bennion, D., Roseman, E.F., Holbrook, C.M., Boase, J.C., Chiotti, J.A., Thomas, M.V., Wills, T.C., Drouin, R., Kessel, S., and C.C. Krueger. 2017. Use of navigation channels by Lake Sturgeon: Does channelization increase vulnerability of fish to ship strikes? PLoS ONE. 12(7): e0179791. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179791

Crossin, G.T., Heupel, M., Holbrook, C.M., Hussey, N., Lowerre-Barbieri, S., Nguyen, V., Raby, G.D., and S.J. Cooke. 2017. Acoustic telemetry and fisheries management. Ecological Applications. 27(4): 1031-1049.

Binder, T.R., Marsden, J.E., Riley, S.C., Johnson, J.E., Johnson, N.S., He, J., Ebener, M., Holbrook, C.M., Bergstedt, R.A., Bronte, C.R., Hayden, T.A., and C.C. Krueger. 2017. Lake-wide movements and spatial segregation of two populations of lake trout Salvelinus namaycush in Lake Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 43:108-118.

Holbrook, C.M., Jubar, A.K., Barber, J.M., Tallon, K., and D.W. Hondorp. 2016. Telemetry narrows the search for Sea Lamprey spawning locations in the St. Clair-Detroit River System. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 42:1084-1091. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2016.07.010

Hayden, T.A., Holbrook, C.M., Binder, T.R., Dettmers, J., Cooke, S.J., Vandergoot, C.S., and C.C. Krueger. 2016. Probability of acoustic transmitter detections by receiver lines in Lake Huron:  results of multi-year field tests and simulations. Animal Biotelemetry. 4:19. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-016-0112-9 

Holbrook, C.M., Bergstedt, R.A., Barber, J., Bravener, G.A., Jones, M.L., and C.C. Krueger. 2016. Evaluating harvest-based control of invasive fish with telemetry: Performance of sea lamprey traps in the Great Lakes. Ecological Applications. 26(6): 1595-1609. DOI: 10.1890/15-2251.1

Plumb, J.M, Adams, N.S., Perry, R.W., Holbrook, C.M., Romine, J.G., Blake, A.R., and J.R. Burau. 2016. Diel activity patterns of juvenile late-fall Chinook salmon with implications for operation of a gated water diversion in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. River Research and Applications. 32:711-720. DOI: 10.1002/rra.2885.

Cooke, S.J., Martins, E.G., Struthers, D., Gutowsky, L.F.G., Power, M., Doka, S.E, Dettmers, J.M., Crook, D.A., Lucas, M.C., Holbrook, C.M., and C.C. Krueger. 2016. A moving target – incorporating knowledge of the spatial ecology of fish into biological assessment and management of freshwater fish populations. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 188:239. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-016-5228-0.

Block, B.A., Holbrook, C.M., Simmons, S.E, Holland, K.N., Ault, J.S., Costa, D.P., Mate, B.R., Seitz, A.C., Arendt, M.D., Payne, J.C., Mahmoudi, B., Moore, P., Price, J.M., Levenson, J. J., Wilson, D., and R.E. Kochevar. 2016. Toward a national Animal Telemetry Network for aquatic observations in the United States. Animal Biotelemetry. 4:6. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-015-0092-1.

Binder, T.R., Holbrook, C.M., Hayden, T.A., and C.C. Krueger. 2016. Spatial and temporal variation in positioning probability of acoustic telemetry arrays: fine-scale variability and complex interactions. Animal Biotelemetry. 4:4. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-016-0097-4.

Binder, T.R., Riley, S.C., Holbrook, C.M., Hansen, M.J., Bergstedt R.A., Bronte, C.R., He, J., and C.C. Krueger. 2016. Spawning site fidelity of wild and hatchery lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, in northern Lake Huron. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 73(1): 18-34. DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0175.

Hondorp, D.W., Holbrook, C.M., and C.C. Krueger. 2015. Effects of acoustic tag implantation on lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens: lack of evidence for changes in behavior. Animal Biotelemetry. 3:44. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-015-0085-0.

Stich, D.S., Bailey, M.M., Holbrook, C.M., Kinnison, M.T., and J.D. Zydlewski. 2015. Catchment-wide survival of wild- and hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon smolts in a changing system. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 72(9): 1352-1365. DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2014-0573.

Kusnierz, P.C., Holbrook, C.M., and D.L. Feldman. 2015. An evaluation of a bedload instability index as an indicator of habitat quality in mountain streams of the western United States. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 187:511.

Holbrook, C.M., Bergstedt, R.A., Adams, N.S., Hatton, T.W., and R.L. McLaughlin. 2015. Fine-scale pathways used by adult Sea Lampreys during riverine spawning migrations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144(3):549-562. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2015.1017657

Hayden, T., Holbrook, C.M., Fielder, D.G., Vandergoot, C.S., Bergstedt, R.A., Dettmers, J.M., Krueger, C.C., and S.J. Cooke. 2014. Acoustic telemetry reveals large-scale migration patterns of walleye in Lake Huron. PLOS ONE 9(12): e114833. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114833

Holbrook, C.M., Johnson, N.S., Steibel, J.P., Twohey, M.B., Binder, T.R., Krueger, C.C., and M.L. Jones. 2014. Estimating reach-specific fish movement probabilities in rivers with a Bayesian state-space model: application to sea lamprey passage and capture at dams. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71: 1713–1729. DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0581

Binder, T.R., Holbrook, C.M., Miehls, S.M., Thompson, H.T., and C.C. Krueger. 2014. Use of oviduct-inserted acoustic transmitters and positional telemetry to estimate timing and location of spawning: a feasibility study in lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush. Animal Biotelemetry 2:14.

Meckley, T.D., Holbrook, C.M., Wagner, C.M., and T.R. Binder. 2014. An approach for filtering hyperbolically positioned underwater acoustic telemetry data with position precision estimates. Animal Biotelemetry 2:7.

Johnson, N.S., Thompson, H.T., Holbrook, C., and J.A. Tix. 2014. Blocking and guiding adult sea lamprey with pulsed direct current from vertical electrodes. Fisheries Research 150:38-48.

Cooke, S.J., Midwood, J.D., Thiem, J.D., Klimley, P., Lucas, M.C., Thorstad, E.B., Eiler, J., Holbrook, C., and B.C. Ebner. 2013. Tracking animals in freshwater with electronic tags:  past, present and future. Animal Biotelemetry 1:5.

Holbrook, C.M., Perry, R.W., Adams, N.S., and P. Brandes. 2013. Adjusting survival estimates for premature transmitter failure:  A case study from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Environmental Biology of Fishes 96: 165-173.

Steig, T. and C. Holbrook. 2012. Use of acoustic telemetry to evaluate survival and behavior of juvenile salmonids at hydroelectric dams:  A case study from Rocky Reach Dam, Columbia River, USA. Pages 361-387 in Adams, N.S., Beeman, J.W., and J.H. Eiler, editors. Telemetry techniques:  A user guide for fisheries research. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Perry, R.W., Castro-Santos T., Holbrook, C.M., and B. Sanford. 2012. Using mark-recapture models to estimate survival from telemetry data.  Pages 453-475 in Adams, N.S., Beeman, J.W., and J.H. Eiler, editors. Telemetry techniques:  A user guide for fisheries research. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Holbrook, C.M., Zydlewski, J., and M.T. Kinnison. 2011.  Survival of migrating Atlantic salmon smolts through the Penobscot River, Maine, USA:  A pre-restoration assessment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 140: 1255-1268.

Holbrook, C.M., Perry, R.W., and N.S. Adams. 2009. Distribution and joint fish-tag survival of juvenile Chinook salmon migrating through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California, 2008.  USGS Open-File Report 2009-1204. 30 p., [link]

Holbrook, C.M., Zydlewski, J., Gorsky, D., Shepard, S., and M.T. Kinnison. 2009. Movements of pre-spawn adult Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) near hydroelectric dams in the lower Penobscot River, Maine. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 29: 495-505.