Artificial propagation of coregonines in the management of the Laurentian Great Lakes



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Numerous stresses caused wide fluctuations in the abundance of Great Lakes coregonine fishes during the last century. State, Provincial, and Federal agencies attempted to bolster these fisheries by stocking more than 32 billion fry of lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and 6 billion fry of lake herring (C. artedii) over a period of about 90 years (1870-1960). Propagation efforts were unsuccessful in arresting the decline of these fishes, perhaps because the stocking densities were too low. It appears that stocking densities must exceed 41% of the natural hatch to produce measurable success in a planting program that augments natural reproduction. Stocking of any of the Great Lakes with lake whitefish at these levels would require several billion fry per lake annually. Such a program is too large to be practical and intensified protection of the remaining stocks would be more cost effective. A species such as the shortnose cisco (C. reighardi) which has only a small number of extant individuals, and can therefore be significantly augmented with fewer stocked fish, may be a much better candidate for propagation than is the lake whitefish. Propagation of coregonines in the Great Lakes should be considered only in localities that have little or no natural recruitment and then only for rehabilitation, and only if accompanied by adequate assessment of the performance of the stocked fish.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Artificial propagation of coregonines in the management of the Laurentian Great Lakes
Volume 22
Year Published 1986
Language English
Publisher E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung
Publisher location Stuttgart, Germany
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 20 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Archiv fur Hydrobiologie. Advances in Limnology 22. Advances in fishery biology: Biology, exploitation, rearing and propogation of coregonid fishes
First page 31
Last page 50
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