The story of the Great Lakes fishery through time reflects the story of aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, water quality and environmental change, degradation and rehabilitation throughout the region. Today, recreational and commercial fisheries are still a vital part of Michigan’s heritage, with the fisheries valued in excess of $4-7 billion annually.
People use Great Lakes fishery resources in many different ways. While sport and commercial fisheries are the major fisheries in the Great Lakes, subsistence and tribal fishing, as well as aquaculture, are also part of the landscape of the Great Lakes fishery.
Michigan Sea Grant supports the Great Lakes fisheries through teaching people about the region and the inextricable connection we have to the Lakes; through research that directly or indirectly has an impact on the fisheries; and through outreach, answering questions and staying on top of ongoing and emerging fisheries issues.
Science and Management
Solid resource management begins with solid science. Michigan Sea Grant encourages sound scientific decision-making through fisheries science and fisheries management techniques.
Fisheries science is the systematic scientific study of fish, aquatic resources, their uses and users. This science involves understanding the structure, dynamics and interactions of habitat, aquatic organisms and humans. Management often requires managers to translate data and information about people, aquatic populations and habitats into useable information that helps define strategies.
Michigan Sea Grant Extension, in partnership with fisheries agencies and stakeholder organizations, hosts annual public workshops to present the current research and information related to the regional status of Great Lakes fisheries. For example, previous years’ workshops have focused on the affect zebra and quagga mussels have on Great Lakes fisheries or the potential collapse of the Lake Michigan salmon fishery.
These workshops are open to the public, and provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals and other interested stakeholders.