Spatial ecology and migration of adult walleye in the eastern basin of Lake Erie
January 2015 - January 2019
Walleye in the Great Lakes are known to move long distances through multiple management jurisdictions. Understanding fish movements and how they relate to fishing effort and harvest is essential when managing a complex, valuable, multijurisdictional fishery such as the Lake Erie walleye fishery. Beginning in spring 2015, New York State DEC biologists will deploy acoustic receivers in the eastern basin of Lake Erie to monitor the timing, magnitude, demographics, and spatial extent of the western basin migrants tagged on western basin spawning areas by Ohio DNR. Additionally, acoustic transmitters will be surgically implanted into walleyes from eastern basin spawning aggregations to estimate spawning site fidelity and movement patterns of individual eastern basin spawning stocks. The relative contribution of eastern basin walleyes to the mixed-origin fisheries in the eastern basin will be assessed by implanting acoustic tags in walleye captured in the eastern basin summer fishery. Acoustic receivers will be placed on known spawning areas in the spring and deployed in four lines spanning the eastern basin from north to south to monitor summer and fall movement. Existing acoustic lines in the western and central basins will allow detection of the westward movement of walleye tagged as part of this study.