Migration and Spatial Ecology of Western Basin Lake Erie Walleye
Project Title
Identifying migration patterns and spatial ecology of a reef spawning stock of walleye in the western basin of Lake Erie
Project Code
LEWAE
Project Duration
January 2013 - January 2017
Project Description
Sustainable management of the Lake Erie walleye stock fishery requires an understanding of stock structure and the population dynamics of individual spawning stocks. Failure to fully understand the migration patterns of Lake Erie walleye has implications for the sustainable management of valuable fishery resource. In addition to several tributary spawning stocks, the Lake Erie walleye population is comprised of several reef spawning stocks, primarily located in the western basin. Although the specific contribution of these reefs stocks to the overall lake population is unknown, anecdotal evidence suggests that the reef stocks comprise a significant proportion of the overall population. The research questions we propose to address are: 1) do walleyes spawning on the reefs, and in the Maumee River migrate into the central basin of Lake Erie or Lake Huron after spawning?, 2) do walleyes spawn and return to the same spawning locations annually?, and 3) do mortality rates differ among the spawning stocks? We will be surgically implanting acoustic transmitters into reef spawning walleye in the spring of 2013 and will follow their movements using the existing GLATOS arrays and new arrays deployed in Lake Erie.
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