The largest freshwater system on Earth, the Great Lakes once boasted as many as 150 species of fish in their vast waters. Today, some of those species are gone forever while the populations of others are greatly reduced. Native Great Lakes fish populations face serious threats from aquatic invasive species, degraded habitat, pollution and obstructions that block fish passage. The Nature Conservancy is working with universities, natural resource managers and public agencies to restore self-sustaining populations of whitefish and other native fish to the Great Lakes, which will result in a more diverse fishery.
In the Great Lakes, native fisheries are the foundation of a $4 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry, as well as a living indication of the health of the entire freshwater system.
We are pursuing innovative techniques and strategies to mitigate two of the biggest challenges for native fisheries: aquatic invasive species and degraded habitat.
Aquatic Ecologist Matt Herbert discussed the techniques and strategies used to reduce the affects of aquatic invasive species and improve habitat for native fish to bolster their populations.
Removing barriers to fish passage in the Green Bay Watershed will give fish a fighting chance.
Going high-tech to track the last known population of native lake herring (also known as cisco) in Lake Ontario.
Learn more about the impact of aquatic invasive species on the Great Lakes.