Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Fishery
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Fishery Project

Using adaptive genetic variation to improve genetic stock assignment in Lake Erie

October 2022 - September 2024


Participating Agencies

  • Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act

Continued restoration of Lake Whitefish requires managers to evaluate differential spawning, recruitment, and harvest among stocks. Our project aims to use new genetic tools to quantify spawning stock structure and identify genetic variants that could be used to distinguish between closely related Lake Whitefish spawning aggregates in Lake Erie. This project is a collaboration of researchers across multiple agencies and includes Purdue University, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The ability to identify the natal origin of Lake Whitefish would enable mixed-stock assessments and analysis of straying behavior, facilitating targeted management strategies for specific spawning shoals.