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Climate change projections for lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) recruitment in the 1836 Treaty Waters of the Upper Great Lakes

Journal of Great Lakes Research

By:
, , , and
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2015.03.015

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Abstract

Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) is an ecologically, culturally, and economically important species in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Lake whitefish have been a staple food source for thousands of years and, since 1980, have supported the most economically valuable (annual catch value  US$16.6 million) and productive (annual harvest  7 million kg) commercial fishery in the upper Great Lakes (Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior). Climate changes, specifically changes in temperature, wind, and ice cover, are expected to impact the ecology, production dynamics, and value of this fishery because the success of recruitment to the fishery has been linked with these climatic variables. We used linear regression to determine the relationship between fall and spring air temperature indices, fall wind speed, winter ice cover, and lake whitefish recruitment in 13 management units located in the 1836 Treaty Waters of the Upper Great Lakes ceded by the Ottawa and Chippewa nations, a culturally and commercially important region for the lake whitefish fishery. In eight of the 13 management units evaluated, models including one or more climate variables (temperature, wind, ice cover) explained significantly more variation in recruitment than models with only the stock–recruitment relationship, using corrected Akaike's Information Criterion comparisons (ΔAICc > 3). Isolating the climate–recruitment relationship and projecting recruitment with the Coupled Hydrosphere-Atmosphere Research Model (CHARM) indicated the potential for increased lake whitefish recruitment in the majority of the 1836 Treaty Waters management units. These results can inform adaptive management strategies by providing anticipated implications of climate on lake whitefish recruitment.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Climate change projections for lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) recruitment in the 1836 Treaty Waters of the Upper Great Lakes
Series title:
Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.jglr.2015.03.015
Volume:
41
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
Description:
8 p.
First page:
415
Last page:
422
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N