Fishery productivity of the Great Lakes has declined drastically since settlement of the area. Premium quality fishes of the Great Lakes such as whitefish, lake trout, and walleyes have been replaced by less desired species. This change is attributed to selective overfishing, pollution, and the extreme instability of fish populations. Sea lamprey predation is still a vexing problem but progress is being made in controlling this parasite. The federal fishery research program with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has the objective of providing baseline information, needed in resource use decisions, about the fishes of the Great Lakes. Studies of the habitat requirements of fish are high priority. The program includes fish population assessments, studies of the effects of mercury and other contaminants on fish, thermal effects studies, and general investigation of the impact of engineering projects on Great Lakes fisheries. The work is closely coordinated with state and Canadian agencies through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Four small research vessels and four field stations are utilized with a staff of 90 and an annual budget of about $1.5 million.
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|conference||First Federal Conference on the Great Lakes|