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Historical changes in the major fish resources of the Great Lakes

By:
Edited by:
Marlene S. Evans

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Abstract

My purpose here is to review historic changes in the major fish resources of the five Great Lakes, and to identify the cause or causes for those changes. In some instances it will be clear that intensive fishing was the primary cause of change; in other instances it will be nearly as clear that predation by the sea lamprey played a significant if not dominant role in change; and in still others it will be clear (or at least circumstantial) that exotic species other than the sea lamprey have been implicated. The exotics that have invaded or been accidentally or purposefully released into the Great Lakes system have not only adversely affected indigenous fishes, but some have developed into new and valuable resources. However, when it comes to degradation of water quality and of critical habitat, the linkages to changes in fish populations are neither clear-cut nor quantifiable — their impacts were generally far more subtle and difficult to detect, but not necessarily of less importance. Inasmuch as a comprehensive review of all changes in fishery resources, water quality, and habitat conditions in the Great Lakes would be encyclopedic, I confine discussion here to prime examples related to the most historically important fish resources. One of the values of the approach used in this manuscript is the collation in a single-source document of the conclusions reached by many scientists on reasons for changes in the fish resources across the Great Lakes basin.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Title:
Historical changes in the major fish resources of the Great Lakes
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Publisher:
John Wiley
Publisher location:
New York, NY
Description:
p. 103-131
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Toxic contaminants and ecosystem health: a Great Lakes focus
First page:
103
Last page:
131
Other Geospatial:
The Great Lakes