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MSU conference explores need for greater international cooperation to protect vital global watersheds
MLive (11/25)
A recent Michigan State University workshop focused on water rights and improving cross-border policies for the protection of the great waters of the world.

VU students testing area waters
The Northwest Indiana Times (11/21)
Students of Valparaiso University, Ind., were at Lake Michigan to work on water quality measurements for an Environmental Protection Agency education project.

Forest Hills students put surf boards to the test in Lake Michigan
MLive (11/20)
Surfís up! Well at least it was for some lucky students from Forest Hills Public Schools on Thursday, Nov. 19. Twenty students from each of the districtís three high schools had an opportunity to surf 10- to 12-foot waves at Grand Haven State Park, Mich.

City says yes to dock sale
Traverse City Record-Eagle (11/3)
In Traverse City, Mich., commissioners agreed to sell the coal dock marina to a group of nonprofit organizations focused on Great Lakes history, education and environmental protection to expand use for nonprofits and construct new, modern facilities.

TVDSB high school students learn about importance of Great Lakes
St. Thomas Times-Journal (10/31)
Participants at the Lake Erie Student Conference spent the day in Port Stanley, Ont., taking demonstrations on water quality testing, commercial fishing, birds of prey and the threat of invasive species.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
Great Lakes Fish and Fishing

table of contents
The fishery
The history of fishing on the lakes
What's in your landing net? (common catches)
Non-native and endangered species
The Record Book
State/provincial fishing laws, consumption advisories
Reeling in some additional references

The fishery
In the Great Lakes region you'll find the largest continuous mass of freshwater in the world. In fact, these lakes, shared by the United States and Canada, have supported one of the world's largest freshwater fisheries for more than 100 years.

Great Lakes angler. Click for larger image.The Great Lakes fishery consists of a blend of native and introduced species, some of which are regularly restocked. Common catches include lake trout, salmon, walleye, perch, white fish, smallmouth bass, steelhead and brown trout. The greatest commercial fishing harvests were recorded in 1889 and 1899 at about 147 million pounds (67,000 metric tons). Since then, the fishery has been threatened on three fronts: overfishing, pollution and non-native invasive species. Recent years have seen a major resurgence as walleye fisheries recover in Lake Erie, trout populations become more self-sustaining in Lake Superior, and new salmon fisheries develop in Lake Ontario. Fishery researchers estimate that 25 percent to 40 percent of the salmon and trout populations in lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario are now self-reproducing, crediting improved habitat, water quality and stream conditions.

Each of the Great Lakes has its own mainstay species. In Lake Superior, the largest of the lakes, lake herring, rainbow smelt, lake whitefish and yellow perch are of commercial importance. In Lake Huron, lake whitefish is the primary catch, while yellow perch, salmon and walleye support the fisheries in lakes Erie and Michigan. Erie remains the most productive of the Great Lakes. The Lake Ontario fishery has declined somewhat due to pollution; in past years the main species harvested were the American eel, yellow perch, bullheads, sunfish and rock bass. Today, salmon, trout and smallmouth bass fishing in Lake Ontario is said to be the "best in years." Yellow perch remains a primary catch in all of the Great Lakes.

The region's inland waters offer many fishing opportunities, as well. Blue-ribbon trout streams attract fly fishing enthusiasts, and lakes offer a variety of fish, including crappie, bluegill, perch, pike and large- and small-mouth bass. The commercial and sport fishery on the Great Lakes is collectively valued at more than $4 billion annually and supports thousands of jobs, including many in the processing and packaging industries.

Related site: GLIN Fish and Fisheries of the Great Lakes Region

Photo: Great Lakes angler, courtesy Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council.

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