As one of the most highly prized game fish in the upper Midwest, muskellunge (also known as muskies) and northern pike help support a $20 billion sport fishing industry. Facing declines in natural reproduction, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University inland fisheries researcher, has developed a list of research and management needs to help keep the fish -- and the industry -- thriving.
'Muskies and northern pike are the largest predatory fishes in this region, making them high-profile fisheries,' explained Joe Nohner, doctoral student in fisheries at the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. 'By supporting strong pike and muskellunge populations, we can provide better fishing opportunities and a strong recreational fishing industry.'
Working with scientists from across the region, Nohner helped prioritize research and management needs for muskie and northern pike, including:
According to Nohner, most of the past research and management programs have focused on adult fish and protection from overfishing. While managers and anglers focus on adult fish populations, some fisheries have been undercut by declining natural reproduction. Fish populations have been kept up through stocking, so in many areas the fishery isn't self-sustaining.
'We believe we need a more holistic approach to managing these fishes,' Nohner said. 'We want to include genetics, habitat needs at all life stages, and include the effects of humans in the equation. It's somewhat daunting, but new technologies will help us meet the challenge.'
Nohner has started tackling part of the challenge himself, creating a computer mapping technique to predict the location of muskie spawning habitats.
By studying 28 lakes in northern Wisconsin, he and his colleague found that muskies preferred spawning in bays with moderately sloping lake bottoms and that the fish also preferred not to spawn along shorelines with houses or other development.
'Lakes with more development are less likely to be muskie spawning habitats,' Nohner said. 'Fisheries managers, county commissioners and lakeshore property owners may have to consider where development is located and how that will affect the fish.
'We found that muskie spawning site selection may be more complex than previously thought,' he continued. 'There is not just one particular characteristic that makes the fish gravitate to an area for spawning. There seem to be several factors that affect the location, which is why we need a modelling program to help identify those critical habitats.'
The paper 'Muskellunge and northern pike ecology and management: important issues and research needs' is published in the June issue of Fisheries. Besides Nohner, other authors are Derek Crane, John Farrell and Kevin Kapuscinski, of the State University of New York-Syracuse; Loren Miller, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; James Diana, of the University of Michigan; and John Casselman, of Queen's University.
The paper 'Muskellunge spawning site selection in northern Wisconsin and a GIS-based predictive model' is published in the February issue of the North American journal of Fisheries Management. Nohner and Diana are the authors. The research was funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin, the University of Michigan and the Alvan Macauley Fellowship.
The Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability integrates ecology with socioeconomics, demography and other disciplines to conduct cutting-edge research on ecological sustainability on local, national and global scales.
Sue Nichols | EurekAlert!
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
27.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering