The Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database (GLFSD) is a continuation of a project initiated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) to provide fishery managers, scientists and other interested parties with access to a centralized, comprehensive database of all fish stocked into the Great Lakes from artificial propagation. In 1991, the GLFC created the Fish Stocking Database Management System (FSDMS) to meet this end. The FSDMS primarily focused on information for salmon and trout although there were some data for walleye. Due to differences in data resolution, there were originally two databases in FSDMS, one for lake trout and one for all other species. For a variety of reasons the maintenance of FSDMS was not consistent. Based upon a 1997 request from the Council of Lake Committees of the GLFC, the Green Bay Fishery Resources Office (Green Bay FRO) of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), assumed the responsibility of enhancing and maintaining the stocking database by developing the GLFSD, which is a single database that houses stocking information for all species. With this renewed initiative, a network of liaisons from each stocking agency was appointed to accomplish this task by providing their agency's consolidated stocking data on a regular basis.

The GLFSD was developed through a peer review process that involved fishery professionals from every agency that stocks fish into the Great Lakes. The GLFSD file (or table) structure was presented to the Lake Technical Committees for feedback and was reviewed by the stocking data liaisons from each agency in the Great Lakes. This extensive review process determined what information fishery professionals needed in the stocking database and also identified what data were available. The final version of the GLFSD presented here was based on the synthesis of all the feedback from these groups.

The GLFSD is managed using Microsoft Access at the Green Bay FRO in New Franken, WI. The overall maintenance and management of the database is the responsibility of Green Bay FRO. All data for the GLFSD are sent electronically from each stocking agency to Green Bay FRO, however file structures, variable definitions, and coding formats vary greatly among agencies. Once the data has been appropriately formatted, it is added to the GLFSD. Annual updates will be attempted but complete updates to include all stocking events for the last complete calendar year are unlikely since release dates for data vary among agencies. Green Bay FRO will make every attempt to keep the database as current as possible but must coordinate the efforts of 8 states, 2 tribes, and 1 province to provide data. Before using the GLFSD, please consult the Data Inclusion Matrix to determine if the data (by lake, jurisdiction, year) you require have been added to the database. The updated database resides on the server of the GLFC in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which has committed computer-programming assistance to serve the database onto the Internet.

Like all databases, errors or omissions will occur. It is the responsibility of each agency providing data to transfer complete and accurate records. Any errors found by users should be referred to the Green Bay FRO and we will consult with the appropriate agency and rectify the error.