Predatory fish of the Great Lakes

USS Bowfin Submarine
The Commission shall encourage the rehabilitation and protection of healthy aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes:
  • that are based on foundations of naturally reproducing fish populations and self-regulating fish communities,
  • that provide sustainable benefits to society, and
  • that support fisheries having increased contributions of wild fish.
The conservation of biological diversity through rehabilitation of native fish populations, species, communities, and their habitats has a high priority.

Milestones for the Ecosystem

  1. No further loss of native aquatic populations or species.
  2. Establishment of policies, legislation, and programs by 1995 that prevent the unintentional introduction of non-native organisms that have potential for naturalization in the Great Lakes.
  3. Achievement of lake trout restoration objectives in Lake Superior, and detection of increasing levels of naturally reproduced yearlings in each of the other Great
  4. Lakes.
  5. Achievement of net gains in the quality of aquatic habitats.
  6. Reduction of toxic substances to levels that do not impair the health of aquatic organisms nor the wholesomeness of fish for consumption by humans and wildlife.

Rationale for the Ecosystem Vision Statement

Before 1960, a combination of overfishing, invading species, habitat degradation, and unintentional introductions resulted in a less diverse, erratic, and economically depressed Great Lakes fishery. Sea lamprey (a parasitic fish that entered the upper Great Lakes through canals) had reduced populations of large predators, particularly lake trout. Populations of nonative species (alewife and rainbow smelt) increased greatly in number and he abundance of native species (deepwater ciscoes, lake herring, emerald shiners, and yellow perch) declined. An effective method of sea lamprey control was implemented in Lake Superior in the late 1950s and was subsequently extended to the other lakes. In the mid- 1960s, massive stocking of native and introduced predatory fishes (salmon and trout) was begun to reduce alewife and smelt, create important sport fisheries, and habilitate native species, notably lake trout. Stocking for species habilitation and put-grow-take fisheries remains a key aspect of fish management in each of the Great Lakes.

Although some put-grow-take stocking programs are remarkably successful and produce great social and economic benefits, these programs were not intended to solve nor address some key problems that face the Great Lakes. A number of persistent issues remain:

  • long-term sustainability of artificially maintained fish communities,
  • restoration of depleted native fishes,
  • continued invasions of non-native species,
  • continued loss of aquatic habitat, and
  • contamination of fish by toxic substances.
These five issues provide a focus for the development of this vision statement because they affect the predictability and sustainability of fishery benefits from the Great Lakes. Predictability and sustainability would be maximized if the pristine fish communities were reestablished. Losses of habitats, extinction of populations and species, and naturalization of nonative species clearly preclude a full recovery to pristine conditions. However, a focus on the five issues as advocated in this vision statement will improve capability for more ecosystem recovery, a process encouraged y the Commission.

Why strive for fisheries with increased contributions from wild fish? Implied here is a reduced dependency on stocked fish. Does this vision statement mean immediate cutting of programs before self-sustaining replacements come available? Clearly, the stocking programs must be maintained while self-sustaining populations are developed. Otherwise, for example, without predatory fish Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario would quickly revert to an alewife dominance characterized by declines of native fishes and by diminished fishing opportunities. Reproducing fish populations offer the best respects for maintaining food chain efficiency for sustainable production of predatory fish in the Great Lakes. Stocked fish lack the resilience of wild fish and are inherently less likely to persist in a changing environment. In his vision statement, stocked fish are seen as surrogates for wild fish, perhaps for extended times in areas where fish communities and habitats have been seriously impaired. During these periods, however, self-sustainability should remain the goal and opportunities for increased self-sustainability should be favored over increased opportunities for hatchery based fisheries, when the two goals conflict.


Jungle Jaws
TV Series Episode Video on Demand ()

90% of predatory species in the ocean

2005-10-31 20:37:58 by have_been_destroyed

I love seafood in general but will no longer consume it on ethical grounds.
Please folks, get your omega-3 fatty acid from walnuts and give the oceans a break.Fishing methods are extremely inhumane, fish farms are incredible polluters and disease hot-spots that decimate wild populations, factory trawling and long-line nets turn the ocean bottom into ecological deserts by destroying everything in their path and killing thousands of "non-target" critters (think of plowing a 5 to 20-mile wide bulldozer through the Amazon).
And if you think I'm just another alarmist nut, check this out: (from


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