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Great Lakes

The Great Lakes research program is a major part of the activities at CBFS and is led by Watkins and Rudstam. Together with Drs Karatayev, Burlakova and Hrycik from the Great Lake Center at Buffalo State, we continued to monitor all five Great Lakes for zooplankton, benthos and chlorophyll, funded by EPA-Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO). A grant to continue this sampling was submitted in 2021 and was successful, funding this program for another 5 years. CBFS also continued a Great Lakes basin research collaboration with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) known as the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR). In 2021, CBFS participated in the analysis of Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) efforts in both Lake Ontario (2018 data) and Lake Erie (2019 data). A special issue on Lake Ontario 2018 in the Journal of Great Lakes Research will come out in April 2022 edited by Watkins with Rudstam, Scofield, Currie, Hollenhorst and Karatayev. Holeck and Rudstam continued leading the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie lower trophic level biomonitoring program, a cooperation between CBFS, NYDEC, USGS, and USFWS. The data from the cisco project funded by USGS on the distribution of cisco and lake whitefish larvae in Lake Ontario is being analyzed for within embayment distribution patterns by PhD student Taylor Brown.  She is also working with a review of all data for coregonid year class strength across the Great Lakes. Together with researchers from Cornell, Buffalo State, Notre Dame, and the U of Guelph, we are improving the library of genetic barcodes for Great Lake invertebrates; a project that was completed in 2021 but continue with manuscript preparations. A project on the coupling between fish production and lake productivity (Koops et al. GLFC), and one on mysid migration (Stockwell et al. GLFC) continued in 2021, and the size spectra project with Tom Evans was published in Canadian Journal of Aquatic Science (Evans et al. 2022).  A new project to analyze if fish avoid surveying ships was started with our colleagues from USGS (Esselman, Warner, O’Brien, DuFour, Yule and others) and two new projects from the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission were funded – on cisco and lake whitefish (Brown, Honsey, Sethi, Weidel, Rudstam) and mysid in Lake Michigan (Watkins, Zhang, Rinchard, Pothoven, Warner, Rudstam).