Keweenaw Waterway Multi-Species
Project Title
Movement of Lake Sturgeon, Brook Trout, and Walleye throughout the Keweenaw Waterway
Project Code
Project Duration
May 2020 - October 2023
Project Description
The Keweenaw Waterway (KWW) is a system of lakes and man-made channels that transect the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan and connect Keweenaw Bay to the South with the main body of Lake Superior to the North. Rooted in a copper mining history, the KWW includes channels dredged for navigation and Torch Lake, an Area of Concern contaminated with stamp sands released by copper mining operations. Several species in the KWW are the focus of lake-wide conservation efforts and important in recreational and subsistence fisheries. A self-sustaining Lake Sturgeon population spawns in the adjoining Sturgeon River, and all life stages use the KWW because of its habitats for feeding, rearing, and thermal protection which are more preferable than those in the main basin of Lake Superior. A remnant coaster Brook Trout population is found in the adjoining Pilgrim River, and studies suggest these fish leave the river during winter and enter the KWW, where the spatial extent of their movements is unknown. Walleye are important to recreational and subsistence fishers, but seasonal movements among Portage Lake, Torch Lake, Lake Superior, and nearby rivers are poorly understood, making fishery management difficult.
Participating Organizations