<FONT SIZE=”3″>Master’s student Lisa Peterson received the Janice Lee Fenske Excellence in Fisheries Management Fellowship for 2012-2013. Jan Fenske was the first female biologist for the Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and this fellowship seeks to honor her legacy. This award provides financial assistance and pairs a student with an agency mentor to develop a project for the mentoring agency. Lisa is working with John Dettmers, a Senior Fisheries Biologist of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, to develop a structured decision making (SDM) framework for riverine barrier decisions. The purpose of this framework is to guide managers through SDM to make decisions about dams in a transparent and organized way. She presented her work to the Council of Lake Committees (CLC) at the beginning of May and received positive feedback. The final product will be distributed to the CLC during the summer, which will also conclude the fellowship.
This fellowship has been a great experience for Lisa. She has been working at the GLFC secretariat office in Ann Arbor throughout her fellowship year, which has allowed her to network and get a glimpse of what it is like to work for an agency such as the GLFC. The fellowship is a great opportunity to form relationships with policy makers and witness how an agency works, which tends to be outside the normal work of a graduate student. Lisa has found all these experiences to be very valuable and knows they will help her in her future endeavors. She looks forward to seeing her finished work and continuing to interact with past (and future!) Fenske Fellows.
For more information on the Fenske Fellowship and to follow the progress of the current Fenske Fellow, see the Fenske Fellows’ Blog
For more information on how to apply, click here
Wildlife-Fisheries connections at the QFC. While the focus of the QFC work is on fisheries and especially applications to the Great Lakes, the QFC has recently been providing valuable support for wildlife applications, and the QFC fishery work is enriched by what we learn from this involvement.
Bryan Stevens is a PhD student working jointly through the QFC and Quantitative Wildlife Laboratory run by Dr. Bill Porter, Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. His work is focusing on: 1) developing demographic models to evaluate density dependence in wild turkey population dynamics, and 2) using these models to inform harvest policy simulations and evaluate management trade-offs in turkey harvest management. This work will link demographic modeling and harvest simulations using ideas from structured decision making (SDM), specifically management strategy evaluation (MSE) techniques developed for applications in commercial fisheries management. The link to QFC expertise lies in using MSE and SDM techniques commonly used in Great Lakes fisheries management to an application in terrestrial wildlife harvest management. The work is focused on improving understanding of density dependence in turkey population dynamics, and how stochastic density-dependent and density-independent dynamics interact to affect sustainability of turkey harvests. Heather Porter is an MS student also jointly working with the QFC and the Quantitative Wildlife Laboratory. Her research is focused on adaptive management of sharp-tailed grouse in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She is creating a linked population and landscape model that will examine how sharp-tailed grouse respond to varying harvest and habitat management scenarios. This relates to fisheries work at the QFC that also involves adaptive management and structured decision making. Sarah Mayhew is a PhD student at the QFC and also a full-time biometrician with the Wildlife Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Sarah is working on statistical population reconstruction for black bear populations in Michigan. Statistical population reconstruction methods originated in fisheries, re extensively used at the QFC, have emerged as alternative approaches to capture-recapture or other intensive survey techniques for assessing wildlife populations. Sarah is exploring the use of this assessment approach for black bears using age-at-harvest data collected during mandatory registration of harvested bears. The situation with bears differ from most assessed fish populations in that the populations are much smaller and a larger fraction of the harvest is evaluated for sex and age. Nevertheless, the modeling strategies are similar and the experience of the QFC will be a tremendous asset for this project.
In January of this year, Sharon Reasoner began working part time at the QFC as an Administrative Assistant. Sharon is originally from Holt, Michigan but considers Tucson, Arizona her second home as that is where many of her immediate family members live, including her daughter and two granddaughters. Sharon began her employment at Michigan State University in 2000 working in the field of student services. She has worked in Judicial Affairs, The Resources Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD), and the Counseling Center. While working with the RCPD, she was involved in arranging the Adaptive Sports Festival, which demonstrated athletic opportunities for all abilities. Sharon considers this to be one of the most rewarding events she has been involved in while at MSU. In 2008, Sharon transferred to the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, where she currently serves as Administrative Assistant for the Department Chair, Mike Jones. In her spare time, Sharon enjoys golfing, gardening, traveling, and puppeteering for her church’s children’s program. For the QFC, Sharon will be involved primarily in bookkeeping, including balancing project accounts and keeping the QFC leadership appraised of the overall fiscal health of the center.
QFC researchers are in the final stages of developing new stock assessment tools to understand Saginaw Bay walleyes. Since returning to recovery targets, the assessment needs for this stock of walleyes in Lake Huron has been elevated. In the past, the Michigan DNR relied on a tag return Brownie style model to indicate mortality and exploitation metrics. The analysis was largely unchanged in 30 years and concern was expressed that those methods only reflected the recreational fishery and possibly omitted other sources of extraction and mortality. This project has developed a statistical catch at age (SCAA) model to take an entirely new approach to estimating the same metrics. SCAA methods have the advantage of being age specific and more easily account for other fisheries exploiting this same stock from around Lake Huron. Graduate Student Dave Fielder along with QFC faculty Jim Bence are comparing the estimates of the two models and evaluating integrated versions that utilize some of the predictive capacity of the tag returns in with the SCAA model as an integrated version option. Estimates of key metrics resulting from this analysis allow the evaluation of the sustainability of the collective fisheries. Estimates of population size is another resultant that is being used in a bioenergetics model for Lake Huron evaluating the predation consequences of the recovered walleye population on the lake’s prey resources. Still planned is further modeling to apply what is learned to an evaluation of management options and forecasting tools to aid the Michigan DNR in its future management efforts.
The Quantitative Fisheries Center (QFC) received two new research grants to study topics relating to the management of Chinook salmon in the Great Lakes. Work on both began on January 1, 2013.
The first grant was funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust for three years (2013-15). Its purpose is to measure and attempt to model the movement of Chinook salmon between lakes Michigan and Huron. Evidence from various sources has suggested that the amount of movement of salmon from Lake Huron into Lake Michigan has increased in recent years. If true, this movement could be very important in determining the affect of Chinook salmon on the forage base of Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes fisheries agencies have marked millions of hatchery-raised Chinook salmon from 1990 to present. In addition, they have monitored the harvest to identify the numbers and locations of recaptures of these fish. A number of studies in the past have used this mark-and-recapture information to estimate survival and movement of fish within both lakes, but the data have not previously been used to study movement of fish between lakes. The QFC will attempt to measure between-lake movement over the years and try to determine if movement rates are changing over time. In addition, we will attempt to incorporate the movement results into mathematical models used to help evaluate management decisions, such as stocking policies.
The second study was funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and will last for eight months. Its purpose is to conduct a series of workshops to modify and improve the Lake Michigan Red Flags Analysis. The basic purpose of the Red Flags Analysis is to annually monitor the status Chinook salmon stocks in Lake Michigan by compiling and analyzing various field data collected from around the lake. It uses biological indicators of the fishery status like numbers and sizes of fish caught, estimates of natural reproduction, and estimates of disease incidence. The agencies have been coordinating this analysis through the Lake Michigan Salmonid Working Group, which is a subcommittee of the Lake Michigan Technical Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. A number of recommendations for improving the analysis were suggested by Rick Clark of the QFC in a report to the Lake Michigan Committee in 2012. The recommendations were well received and the workshops will be designed to help implement them.
Marty was presented the award at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society in Gaylord, Michigan on February 20th.
The award, offered annually by the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, is named in honor of Dr. Albert S. Hazzard, the first full-time director of Michigan’s Institute for Fisheries Research and President of the American Fisheries Society from 1950 to 1951.
The Hazzard Award is intended to recognize excellence in student research in fisheries or aquatic biology conducted at a college or university in Michigan. Preference is given to research that has relevance to a specific current issue in the waters of Michigan or the Great Lakes, is original in execution, and shows clarity in presentation of the results. To learn more about the Hazzard Award and see a list of past recipients Click Here
Since November 2010 the QFC has facilitated and conducted technical (Management Strategy Evaluation) analyses for a group of Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch fishery stakeholders. The group, known as the Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group (LEPMAG) has met nine times and discussed objectives, options and uncertainties for the walleye and yellow perch fisheries in Lake Erie. In the intervals between these meetings the QFC team (co-Director Mike Jones, Research Associate Matt Catalano, Graduate Student Lisa Peterson, and former Graduate Student Aaron Berger) have developed and refined models to assess past population and harvest dynamics for walleye stocks (assessment models) and to forecast future dynamics and fishery performance (forecasting models). Their results have then been used to inform discussions of improvements to walleye management at the LEPMAG meetings. At the most recent meeting the LEPMAG reached consensus on several recommendations for changes to the assessment model used to inform decisions about walleye harvest in Lake Erie, and on adoption of a reference-point based harvest policy for the future. These recommendations were shared with the Lake Erie fishery managers at this meeting. The group did not reach consensus on a new harvest control rule, but urged managers to use LEPMAG’s deliberations to inform their decisions about quotas for walleye harvest in 2013 and going forward. LEPMAG participants have expressed strong support for the value of this process for increasing transparency in the management process and thereby building greater trust among managers and stakeholders. The group is now shifting their attention to yellow perch and will be meeting to discuss this fishery several times during the coming year, following the same approach as has been taken for walleye.
QFC Co-Director Mike Jones and former Research Associate Matt Catalano participated in an outreach workshop in Anchorage, Alaska in December 2012, attended by biologists, managers and community members with a common interest in sustainable management of Alaska salmon fisheries in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region of the state. This area, roughly the size of Washingon, Orgeon and California combined, contains very important subsistence salmon fisheries that have experienced sharp declines in returns in recent years.
Jones and Catalano presented a narrated slide-show that described how a Structured Decision Making process could be used to evaluate trade-offs between long-term conservation and short-term needs of the commercial and subsistence fisheries. The process is designed around the development of a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) model to objectively examine these trade-offs while accounting for critical uncertainties about salmon population dynamics and the fishery. The presentation was developed from work led by Jones and Catalano as part of an expert panel on salmon escapement goals that was convened in 2009. Alaska salmon fisheries are generally managed by setting escapement goals that are expected to provide high, sustainable yields; the MSE process helps stakeholders and decision makers to see how alternative strategies might provide adequate, sustainable fishery returns but reduce the risk of undesirable outcomes when returns are poor due to variable environmental conditions.
The QFC anticipates continuing to work with Alaska fishery managers and stakeholders to implement MSE for AYK fisheries in the future.
This February Norine Dobiesz joins the QFC as a Research Associate working on a number of quantitative fisheries research projects and providing programming expertise to the center. Norine currently lives in Duluth, Minnesota but will be returning to her home state of Michigan. She received a BS from the University of Michigan Dearborn and worked in the computing field before returning to complete an MS in Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Following this, she studied with Jim Bence at Michigan State University and received a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife; and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior.
Norine’s research has focused on a wide range of Great Lakes issues. As a post-doc fellow at the University of Toronto, she examined the impacts of light and temperature on the fish community, with particular emphasis on walleye, across Lakes Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario. More recently working as a Research Associate with the University of Minnesota Duluth, her work focused on identifying metrics of ecosystem health for global large lakes through a series of workshops and collaborations with international researchers to identify changes in trophic interactions, food web processes, and fisheries that may be indicators of healthy ecosystems. This was followed by the creation of a web-based system of data acquisition, database management, and visualization to enable anticipatory management of the world’s great lakes with a focus on a Lake Superior prototype. Her initial projects at the QFC will involve developing a Lake Huron food web model and examining the effect of adding additional attributes, such as season, to a model of sea lamprey wounding rates.
Since off-reservation rights to hunt, fish and gather were affirmed to Chippewa tribes in the northern third of Wisconsin in 1983, walleye populations in this Ceded Territory have been subjected to both recreational angling and tribal spearing exploitation. To ensure the sustainability of walleye populations, total allowable catch for this multi-user fishery was set to maintain adult exploitation rates of less than 35%. Iyob Tsehaye and Matt Catalano collaborated with Brian Roth (FW – MSU) and Greg Sass (WI – DNR) to develop a regional dynamic simulation model to test whether the current Ceded Territory walleye management policies are accomplishing the desired goals or if they need to be refined. The simulation model being developed was designed to forecast future walleye abundance under different combinations of recreational and tribal exploitation rates and minimum allowable sizes (or selectivity schedules). The model was parameterized using a sample of joint posterior distribution of parameter estimates from a meta-analysis of demographic datasets from twenty five Northern Wisconsin lakes with the best datasets available.
From December 11 to 13, 2012, Brian Roth and Iyob Tsehaye traveled to Madison, WI to demonstrate a functional version of the model to WI-DNR Fish Management and GLIFWC members. They run a bunch of simulations to forecast future walleye abundances across the 25 lakes under different harvest policies. This exercise allowed the group to see what things work as expected and what don’t, leading them to rethink some of the existing model assumptions. The meeting ended with agreement on a list of revisions to make and a set of management scenarios to apply to the model and report back to the group at next meeting.
The latest issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ journal/03801330) includes two articles written by current and former QFC staff that address a pertinent and contemporary topic to Great Lakes fisheries managers, namely how to manage fish populations consisting of individuals that are highly migratory. The first article “Control Rule Performance for Intermixing Lake Whitefish Populations in the 1836 Treaty Waters of the Great Lakes: A Simulation-Based Evaluation” was authored by Kyle Molton (former MS student in the QFC), Travis Brenden (QFC Associate Director), and Jim Bence (QFC co-Director). They evaluate the sensitivity of the current 65% total annual mortality control rule that is used to manage lake whitefish fisheries in the 1836 Treaty waters of the Great Lakes to different population intermixing and productivity levels. They found that annual yields for individual fisheries were sensitive to population mixing levels, and that it was possible for yields from fisheries coinciding with low productivity spawning populations to be similar to those coinciding with high productivity populations when intermixing occurred. This ultimately could make it difficult to determine what populations might be in need of management intervention in the absence of information of productivity and mixing levels. The second article “Improving Fishery-Independent Indices of Abundance for a Migratory Walleye Population” was authored by Aaron Berger (former PhD student in the QFC), Mike Jones (QFC co-Director), and Yingming Zhao (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources research scientist and QFC Affiliate Member). They evaluate different modeling approaches for standardizing fishery-independent survey data for Lake Erie walleye. Lake Erie walleyes are highly migratory, which makes accurate assessment of population abundance difficult. Aaron found that survey catch rates were affected by factors such type of gill net set, hypoxia, Secchi depth, water depth, and surface water temperature. Catch rates were also influenced by temporal and spatial factors. Although general trends in abundance were similar between standardized and raw indices of abundance, there was considerable annual variation in the direction and magnitude of the difference between the indices. Consequently, they recommend standardizing fishery independent indices of abundance for migratory populations to account for factors that can influence index values.
With many of its native populations already imperiled by non-native species, the Great Lakes face a new threat of invasion from bighead and silver carp (both Asian carp species), with potentially serious consequences for the aquatic food webs. Alongside efforts to keep Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan with electric barriers, the state of Illinois initiated a fishing program aimed at reducing their densities through intensive commercial exploitation on the Illinois River. As part of this program, the state of Illinois signed an agreement in 2010 to export 13.6 – 22.7 million kg of Asian carp annually to China, where they are considered a delicacy. Matt Catalano and Iyob Tsehaye collaborated with Brian Roth (FW – MSU) and Greg Sass (WI – DNR) to explore prospects for the “collapse” of Asian carp in the Illinois River through intensive commercial exploitation. Based on meta-analysis of demographic data from the Illinois and middle Mississippi rivers, they developed a dynamic simulation model to compare the performance of existing and alternative harvesting strategies at achieving fishing targets. Based on their results, they argue that it may be possible to achieve fishing effort targets required to “collapse” the Asian Carp populations in the Illinois River if efforts to expand commercial fishing are combined with economic incentives to improve size selectivity and species targeting. These results will soon be submitted for publication in the scientific literature.
A number of interesting meetings and workshops are coming up, and we thought that you might be interested in knowing about them. We are still making plans regarding QFC staff participation in these.
Jan 3-5 2013. The Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research (CCFFR) will be meeting with the Society of Canadian Limnologists and the Canadian Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists. The theme for the conference is “Science for sustainable ecosystems, great and small”. Deadline for abstracts is October 31, 2012. Abstracts should be submitted to email@example.com. For more information see http://www.uwindsor.ca/glier/ccffr/
March 12-14, 2013. The Center for the Advancement of Population Assessment Methodology (CAPAM) will host a technical workshop on Selectivity: theory, estimation, and application in fishery stock assessment models in La Jolla, California. Those wishing to present on ongoing or completed research need to submit an abstract by February 12, 2013. For additional information on the workshop or how to register contact Jenny McDaniel (Jenny.McDaniel@noaa.gov).
June 2-6, 2013. The International Association for Great Lakes Research annual conference, West Lafayette, Indiana (Purdue). The theme for the conference is “Great Lakes restoration and resiliency”. Currently there is an open call for proposals for scientific sessions at the conference that closes on November 2. Once the slate of sessions is decided on a call for abstract submissions will occur. For more information see: http://iaglr.org/iaglr2013/
July 15-19. The World Conference on Stock Assessment Methods for Sustainable Fisheries, Boston, MA. There will be an initial two day workshop reviewing studies where stock assessments have been applied to predefined data sets. This will be followed by presentations and discussions on the application and future of stock assessment methods. A broad approach will be considered, including single stock approaches for data rich and data poor situations and multispecies and ecosystem models. Highlights of the symposium will be published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. For additional information see http://ices.dk/iceswork/symposia/wcsam.asp or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This fall Bryan Stevens joined the QFC as a new PhD student studying under Dr. Jim Bence. Bryan is originally from Shelby, Ohio, and most recently from Idaho. He received BS and MS degrees in wildlife resources from the University of Idaho; he received an MS in statistics from the University of Idaho as well. He has held a variety of fisheries and wildlife positions, including fisheries creel survey and forest wildlife research technician positions with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and fisheries research positions with Idaho Department of Fish and Game. For his wildlife MS research, he studied the impacts of fences on greater sage grouse in Idaho. For his statistics MS research, he developed statistical methods for modeling avian-infrastructure collision count data. Bryan has not yet settled on a dissertation topic, but anticipates focusing on statistical application and fisheries population dynamics.
Several QFC staff members recently traveled to Minneapolis, MN for the 2012 American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. Matt Catalano, Travis Brenden, Yang Li, and Lisa Peterson taught an Introduction to R workshop at the meeting as part of AFS’s continuing-education offerings. This was the 5th year in a row that the QFC has been involved in teaching the R workshop at the AFS meeting and evaluations continue to indicate that the students learn a lot during the daylong course. QFC staff also presented or were presentation co-authors on a wide range of topics, including: VHS disease ecology in an inland Michigan lake, simultaneous analysis of genetic and age data to estimation spawning population contribution in intermixed fisheries, jaw-tag shedding and reporting rates for Lake Erie walleye, comparison of statistical catch-at-age and Brownie model stock assessment methods for Saginaw Bay walleye, biology and status of siscowet lake trout in Lake Superior, performance of mixed-stock management strategies for the Yukon River fall chum salmon fishery, forecasting the responses of Asian carp populations to commercial harvest in the Illinois River, comparing techniques for predicting spatially-specific larval sea lamprey densities in a large river, and the role of external peer review in supporting invasive species suppression efforts. Additional information about the 142nd AFS meeting can be found at http://afs2012.org/.
Eight undergraduate students from Shanghai Ocean University have spent the past month at MSU, working in Fisheries and Wildlife labs, learning English, and experiencing life in America. This picture shows them, along with QFC Masters student Yang Li (3rd from left) celebrating the end of a successful fishing trip on Lake Michigan.
Two of these students, Xuejun Lu and Yang Wang, spent their time at MSU in the QFC, where they interacted with QFC students and postdocs, and participated in the QFC’s online R course. Later this fall, QFC Associate Director Travis Brenden will be visiting Shanghai Ocean University along with three other Fisheries and Wildlife faculty. Travis will present a short course and explore research collaborations with scientists in their College of Marine Sciences
Just 48 hours after successfully defending his dissertation, recent QFC graduate Aaron Berger and family were on an airplane bound for Noumea, New Caledonia. New Caledonia, a small French territorial island in the South Pacific about equivalent to the size (and shape) of Lake Michigan, hosts in its capital city Noumea the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) – the main science provider to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories in the region.
In October of last year, Aaron began working for the international non-profit as a Fisheries Scientist (bioeconomic modeller) within the Stock Assessment and Modelling Group of the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (http://www.spc.int/oceanfish/). His main duties are to develop models that jointly provide indicators of stock status (biological) and fishery performance (economic) to inform management decision-making for the four main tuna species (skipjack, albacore, yellowfin, and bigeye) in the region. Aaron is keen to help Pacific Island communities attain fair value for the tuna resources harvested in their exclusive economic zones, particularly with respect to the licensing of foreign vessels and local onshore development. Communication with managers and stakeholders from such an expansive region of the world has resulted in lots of travel including consultations in Australia, Fiji, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. In addition to the tuna fisheries, Aaron also enjoys working with Pacific Island communities and learning about different cultures.
Aaron is enjoying his new position “down under”, and is appreciative of the preparedness and employability that the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at MSU presented – “it’s the opportunities, guidance, and professional development that I received through the QFC (and affiliates) that has opened so many doors for me, and for that I’m grateful.”
Enrollments are steadily increasing for the QFC’s two online courses: Maximum Likelihood Estimation for Natural Resources and Ecology and R Essentials for Natural Resource Professionals. This past fiscal year, from July 2011 to June 2012 we had 8 new enrollments in the MLE course and 23 new enrollments in the R Essentials course. The enrollments in the R course more than doubled from last fiscal year (11 new enrollments)
Professionals are truly taking advantage of the flexibility of our online, anytime/anywhere, courses. We have students from 13 states and four countries (US, Canada, Italy, and Australia). See where are students are located here Student Map
You can learn more about our courses by visiting QFC Online Courses
As part of a series of meetings with the Cormorant Adaptive Management Working Group, QFC co-director Mike Jones and research associate Iyob Tsehaye traveled to Cedarville, MI for a two-day meeting (June13-14) to demonstrate their latest version of cormorant-fish model to the rest of the group. They run a bunch of simulations to forecast future cormorant and fish population sizes across several management locations in Michigan under different model assumptions. This exercise allowed the group to see what things work as expected, what things don’t work, leading the group to reconsider some of their model assumptions. The meeting ended with agreement on a list of revisions to make and a set of management scenarios to apply to the model and report back to the group at the next meeting. Thanks to perfect local weather conditions, the group also had an opportunity to take a boat tour to see cormorant nesting colonies in some of the project areas in the Les Cheneaux Islands.
QFC Research Associate Matt Catalano and Co-Director Mike Jones traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, May 2-3 to participate in a workshop to explore hypotheses for recent declines in Chinook salmon stocks of western Alaska. The workshop brought together a group of salmon experts from governmental, private and academic institutions, and was organized and supported by the Sustainable Salmon Initiative. Participants gave and listened to presentations on various hypotheses for salmon declines. Several of the hypotheses were deemed by the group as plausible explanations for observed patterns. Future work by the group will involve setting priorities for research and building a comprehensive data base of western Alaska Chinook stocks.
Dr. Jim Bence, QFC Co-Director, is the 2012 recipient of the Jack Christie/Ken H. Loftus Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions towards Understanding Healthy Great Lakes Ecosystems from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Previous recipients of this award include Drs. Ed Crossman, Ed Mills, Jon Casselman, and Jim Kitchell. Jim will be presented the award at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in Buffalo, New York on June 6. Lisa Peterson, QFC MS graduate research assistant, was recently awarded the Janice Lee Fenske Excellence in Fisheries Management Fellowship from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Janice Fenske was the first female biologist for the Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and this fellowship was established to honor Jan’s deep commitment to Great Lakes fishery resources. As part of this fellowship, Lisa will be working closely with Dr. John Dettmers of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission concerning yellow perch management on Lake Erie. Lisa is also the second-ever recipient of the William E. Ricker Distinguished Fellowship at the QFC. Dr. Ricker was a prominent fisheries scientist and a pioneer in development and application of quantitative methods in fisheries science and management, and this fellowship was established at MSU to honor Dr. Ricker and foster graduate training of future leaders in fisheries science and management.
QFC Co-Director Mike Jones and Ph. D. student Brian Langseth traveled to Sarnia, Ontario to present their findings on harvest strategies for Lake Huron’s offshore commercial fisheries. These findings reflect Langseth’s dissertation research. Due to recent large changes in the ecosystem of Lake Huron, analyses were done within a food-web model. The primary finding of the research was that by adjusting the level of lake trout bycatch taken in the commercial fishery, greater biomass of wild lake trout could be achieved while maintaining harvest of lake whitefish. Langseth also reported that indirect indirections between lake trout and lake whitefish via trophic linkages had minimal effects on harvest strategies. Lastly, uncertainties about future environmental production, diet values, and predator-prey interaction strengths were assessed, and of these, future environmental production was found to have the greatest effect on model results.
Post-doctoral associate Matt Catalano and QFC Co-Director Mike Jones traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to hold a training workshop on Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) modeling. MSE is an approach to fisheries management decision-making that involves using stochastic simulation models to evaluate the expected performance of different management procedures relative to a set of objectives. MSE emphasizes the simulation of the entire management system so that uncertainties can be properly accounted for. Attendees of the workshop included staff of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and stakeholder groups. The workshop was well-received and tentative plans were made for future training workshops.