COMMERCIAL FISH PRODUCTION IN
THE GREAT LAKES 1867-2006
The following sources were consulted for production statistics appearing in the Supplemental Report of the International Board of Inquiry:
Sources of production data for the period 1941-1977 were:
Where production figures differed, preference was given to the statistics collected by the same agency over the greatest number of consecutive years. By consulting more than one source, it was also possible to correct or reduce the extent of certain obvious errors in both published and unpublished statistics to obtain the most reliable record from the available data. For example, Chaumont Bay catches found to be missing from previously reported Lake Ontario catches (1913, 1918, 1951) have been included in this report, after comparison with New York Annual Reports.
As in the original Technical Report No. 3, production tables for rock bass in Lake Ontario and lake trout in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie have been omitted because the small catches shown for these species in early years have long since ceased to be significant. Tables have been added to show the increasing production of Pacific salmon and white perch since 1960, as well as that of rainbow smelt and alewife which were first described in the 1962 edition.
In the original Technical Report No. 3, it became possible to identify production from certain areas of Lakes Huron (Saginaw Bay, Georgian Bay and the North Channel) and Michigan (Green Bay). However, Green Bay production is not distinguishable from Lake Michigan totals prior to 1953.
Production amounts were rounded to the nearest thousand pounds after sums were calculated. (The sum of rounded amounts will not necessarily correspond to the rounded total.) A blank indicates no catch report. A lake total for the species in question is computed when the lack of a catch report is assumed attributable to zero catch.
Tribal data for western Lake Superior was added to the state-licensed totals provided by the Great Lakes Science Center for 1978 - 1996.
Confusion as to fish names and the combining of catches of species that are in the same market category or that resemble each other introduced considerable uncertainty into the statistics for many of the early years. 2 For example, round whitefish and species of large chubs were included with lake whitefish, and small chubs were included with lake herring. Northern pike, sauger, blue pike, and walleye have been variously combined and catches of channel catfish and various bullheads were combined rather consistently for many years. These instances, where known, are noted in the tables. Distinction between species which resemble each other closely, e.g. yellow and brown bullheads or the various species of chubs and suckers, is still not practical. Species and species groups for which catch statistics are given follow. They are arranged in phylogenetic order here, but in the catch tables they are listed alphabetically by common name.
|Lake sturgeon||Acipenser fuluescens|
|Gizzard Shad||Dorosoma cepedianum|
|Chubs or deepwater ciscoes||Coregonus spp.|
|Lake herring or cisco||Coregonus artedii|
|Lake whitefish||Coregonus clupeaformis|
|Round whitefish or Menominee whitefish||Prosopium cylindraceum|
|Lake trout||Salvelinus namaycush|
|Pacific salmon||Onchorhynchus spp.|
|Coho salmon||Onchorhynchus kisutch|
|Rainbow Smelt||Osmerus mordax|
|Northern pike||Esox lucius|
|Suckers||Catostomus and Moxastoma spp.|
|Channel catfish||Ictalurus punctatus|
|American eel||Anguilla rostrata|
|White perch||Morone americana|
|White bass||Morone chrysops|
|Rock bass||Ambloplites rupestris|
|Smallmouth bass||Micropterus dolomieui|
|Yellow perch||Perca flavescens|
|Blue pike||Sander vitreus glaucum|
|Sheepshead or freshwater drum||Aplodinotus grunniens|
1Marjory A. Ford. Annual landing of fish on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes from 1867-1939. King's Printer, Ottawa.
a detailed account see Appendix D to Report and Supplement, International
Board of Inquiry for the Great Lakes Fisheries.
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