Few active fish spawning grounds have been found in channels connecting the Great Lakes. Here, we describe one near Belle Isle in the Detroit River, part of the channel connecting lakes Huron and Erie. There, in 2005, we collected 1,573 fish eggs, cultured them, and identified the hatched larvae as walleye (Sander vitreus) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni). Walleye spawning peaked during the week of April 12-19; white sucker spawning peaked on May 10. Average areal rate of egg deposition by walleye and white sucker at this spawning ground in 2005 was 346 and 25 eggs/m2, respectively. Our environmental measurements showed that bottom substrates on this spawning ground were largely sand, not optimal for fish reproduction. We hypothesize that reproduction of these fish at this spawning ground could be enhanced by adding rock and gravel substrates for protection of deposited fish eggs and suggest that reproduction by walleye in the Detroit River may add resilience to production of walleye in western Lake Erie. ?? 2010.
Additional Publication Details
Spawning by walleye (Sander vitreus) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) in the Detroit River: Implications for spawning habitat enhancement