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This review of the trends in production on the Great Lakes suggests that great biological changes have taken place. The general abundance of the choicer varieties, and of some of the less choice fishes, has been lowered considerably; and the prospects are that this level will fall still farther. In addition, the niches occupied by these finer species in the lakes have not been filled by coarser forms. Much of the reduced abundance in modern fishery must be attributed to overfishing or unwise fishing (cisco, whitefish, lake trout, chubs). Part of it we believe was caused by an infectious disease as was true for the smelt; part of it by the parasitic predator, the sea lamprey. Perhaps increased competition for space or food such as might have been brought about by the smelt in Lakes Huron and Michigan or the alewives in Lake Ontario may have played a role. Pollution, too, may have taken its toll. Often we have no better explanation to offer than to state that some unknown change in the environment was responsible.
Additional Publication Details
The present status of the United States commercial fisheries of the Great Lakes
Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference