Sharp reductions in forage fish populations in Lake Michigan have raised concerns about the continued ability of the forage stocks to support large populations of lake trout and other salmonid predators. There was a need for a more comprehensive and accurate estimate of forage fish abundance and distribution to evaluate these concerns. In response, cooperative diel surveys of the Lake Michigan forage species were conducted in late summer 1987 and spring 1989 with acoustics, midwater and bottom trawls.
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Acoustics as a tool for the assessment of Great Lakes forage fishes