Service Leads Fish Mass Marking Planning for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Written by USFWS   
Saturday, 13 May 2006 05:23

Charles Bronte of the Green Bay Fishery Resources Office has been selected as U.S. Co-chair of the Mass Marking implementation Task group of the Council of Lake Committees, Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

See AutoFish System at work

This group, made up of state, tribal and provincial hatchery and management biologists, is tasked with developing an implementation plan for mass marking all salmon and trout stocked into the Great Lakes.  It will be modeled after a similar program in the Pacific Northwest used to manage and evaluate fisheries and recovery efforts for salmon. 

Mass marking involves placing a coded wire tag and an adipose fin clip on all fish stocked through the use of automated trailers that can process fish at a rate of 60,000 fish per day.  About 30 million salmon and trout are stocked by all agencies each year and the implementing plan will have to handled the spatial, jurisdictional and temporal complexities found in the Great Lakes. Bronte secured funding through the Great Lake Fishery Commission to contract a specialist from the Pacific Northwest to assist the implementation team. 

The person is a past Service employee with 20 years of experience with mass marking and will be working close with the team over the next 18 months.  Analysis of the recovery data will allow agencies to better evaluate the performance and impact of their stocked fish and estimate the levels of natural reproduction in the Great Lakes.  

If realized, the mass marking program may be  run by the Fishery Resources Offices that will provide marking, recovery, statistical planning and analysis, and database services to those agencies that stock fish in the Great Lakes.  A report on the implementation plan is due to the Council of Lake Committees by April 2007.

 
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