Whitefish Population Discrimination

Lake Huron Lake Whitefish Population Discrimination : Main Basin

In 2002, the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA), the Ontario Commercial Fisheries Association (OCFA), the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Saugeen Ojibway, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) submitted a proposal to the Great Lakes Fishery commission to undertake a mark-recapture study on lake whitefish in Lake Huron. The purpose of that study was to discriminate lake whitefish populations.  In 2003, that proposal was accepted and field work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2004.

Ebener, M.P., Mohr, L., Woldt, A., Johnson, J. and Crawford, S.  2003.  Lake Huron lake whitefish distribution study.  A proposal submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act via Great Lakes Fishery Commission. (Download Background & Objectives 86Kb)

Special thanks to Darryl James for some of the tagging photographs!

Lake Huron Lake Whitfish Population Discrimination : Georgian Bay

Our research goal is to develop and demonstrate the applicability of a framework for quantitatively considering uncertainty regarding the population distribution of lake whitefish, that will allow harvest levels to be established in a way that considers ecological uncertainties in the decision making process. Decision tools, such as decision analysis, require (i) refinement of alternative hypotheses and (ii) assignment of probabilities to each hypothesis. Our research concentrates on these two components for the purpose of supporting scientifically defensible management decisions about lake whitefish in Georgian Bay and North Channel of Lake Huron.


  1. Refine already developed alternative hypotheses about the population structure of Georgian Bay and North Channel lake whitefish
  2. Conduct a genetic analysis of Georgian Bay and North Channel whitefish to test predictions based on hypothesized stock distributions, and to assign probabilities to alternative hypotheses.

This research will provide comprehensive spatial coverage of sample sites on Lake Huron that are complementary to current mark-recapture and genetic analyses currently being conducted on Main Basin.