Spatial ecology, migration and mortality of adult walleye in Lake Huron and western Lake Erie
June 2010 - December 2014
Across the Great Lakes walleye represent an important ecological and economic fish species. Although the abundance of walleye varies among the different lakes, this species moves across large geographic areas within and among the Great Lakes. Walleye have recently recovered in Saginaw Bay and now are a major predator in Lake Huron. Consequently, information regarding the migration patterns of Great Lakes walleye stocks as it pertains to fish age, sex and spawning population will provide fishery researchers with the information needed to better manage these populations and ensure that these populations persist into the future. During the spring of 2011, fishery biologists with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Carleton University, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission collected walleye from the Tittabawassee River, Lake Huron and Maumee River, Lake Erie during the annual spawning migration. An acoustic transmitter was surgically implanted into the body cavity of two hundred walleye, 100 males and 100 females, from each river. Walleye were also tagged with two external anchor tags to alert anglers and aid in the recovery of the tag. Following the surgery walleyes were released. Movement patterns of these fish are being monitored using acoustic receivers located throughout the Tittabawassee and Maumee rivers, Lake Huron, and the Huron-Erie Corridor (Detroit and St. Clair rivers and Lake St. Clair) through 2014. Individuals catching or finding a walleye with an internal tag or external tag(s) are encouraged to report this information by filling out an electronic tag return form or calling 989-734-4768.