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Walleye fishery of Lake Erie in 1943-62 with emphasis on contributions of the 1942-61 year-classes

Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada

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Abstract

The commercial fishery for walleyes (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) in Lake Erie virtually collapsed in the late 1950's. The extreme decline in production was attributed primarily to a succession of weak year-classes, caused by habitat deterioration (increased water temperature, enrichment, and pollution) in western Lake Erie. Unusually high fishing intensity and high yields of walleyes in the mid-1950's contributed to the collapse. Annual lakewide production of walleyes dropped from a record high of 15 million lb in 1956 to a record low of 717,000 lb in 1962. Canadian catches exceeded those of the United States only during the high production years of 1956-58; U.S. fishermen took 71% of the total catch in 1915-62. On the basis of the numbers of fish of the various year-classes in the fall trapnet samples at Sandusky, Ohio, in 1943-62, all but one of the 1942-52 year-classes were above average strength, and all but one of the 1953-61 year-classes were below average. Fish of the 1953-61 year-classes grew much faster than those of the 1942-52 year-classes. The strong 1948 year-class was followed by a series of progressively weaker year-classes until 1958; year-class strength remained low through 1962.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Walleye fishery of Lake Erie in 1943-62 with emphasis on contributions of the 1942-61 year-classes
Series title:
Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada
Volume
27
Issue:
8
Year Published:
1970
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
p. 1475-1489
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1475
Last page:
1489
Number of Pages:
14