Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24IGAMI• ork, study, culture and life Research tracking laker habits in a warming Gichigami Chinamekos (lake trout) have long provided food for the Anishinaabe people. As settlers pushed into the Great Lakes region, lakers—along with adikameg (lake whitefish) and kewis (lake herring or cisco)—provided for a means of trade and income. Currently, many tribal members rely on these same species in commercial fisheries, which supply restaurants and wholesale food distributors. Chinamekosthriveintheclearcoldwaterof Gichigami,preferringtemperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature not too common during most of the season in Gichigami, where the average temperature is 40 degrees F. But that may be changing. The temperature of Lake Superior’s waters is highly linked to winter ice cover. An ice free lake is midnight blue in color whereas an iced over lake, with a little snow on top, is white. As anyone who owns a car with a dark interior knows, dark colors get hot! The same happens to Lake Superior in an ice-free winter; heat is absorbed by darker waters giving the upper water layers a head start for further heating over the warm summer months. This ultimately leads to a later ice cover the following year due to the lake taking longer to cool back down. Lately, ice-free winters have been occurring more often, and the lake has been warming up. Fish are the same temperature as the water they live in. They cannot sweat or shiver or put on a coat. To track changes a warming lake may have on lake trout, GLIFWC’s Great Lakes Section staff attached depth and thermal archival tags on fish to see what temperatures they were staying in and at which depth they were stay- ing. In 2002, 124 tags were deployed and fourteen were retrieved. In 2015 as part of GLIFWC’s Climate Change Program, 99 tags were deployed and so far thirteen have been retrieved. Data are still being analyzed, but when complete they should show if fish inhabit warmer water or deeper water than they did fifteen years ago. Either could be the case; lake trout may stay in the warmer water if it’s available. This may lead By Bill Mattes, GLIFWC Great Lakes Section Leader Percentages of time spent at a given temperature (upper) and depth range (lower) by chinamekos based on tagging conducted in 2002 and 2016. Whitefish study tracks Gichigami food web Taking stock of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the largest Great Lakes restor- ation program in US history, was the topic of discussion at Northland College’s Water Summit in Ashland, Wisconsin September 30. A panel of Great Lakes experts, featuring GLIFWC Chairman Mic Isham, discussed the many successes of the GLRI program. Isham provided a tribal perspective and advocated that tribes should have more control and oversight on GLRI projects awarded to them. The Water Summit participants authored a report to the US presidential transition teams with suggestions for continuing an effective GLRI program. Photo from left: Katherine Buckner, Council of Great Lakes Industries president; Chairman Isham; Todd Ambs, Healing Our Waters Coalition campaign director; and Randy Lehr, co-director of the Burke Center. (Jen Ballinger photo) By Bill Mattes, GLIFWC Great Lakes Section Leader Adikameg (lake whitefish) provides the backbone of the commercial fishery in Gichigami. As such, GLIFWC’s Great Lakes Section started a new program to gather more information about whitefish biology including length, weight, age, and diet. Diet is easy to collect and analyze. Just catch a fish, look inside its stomach, count and weigh differing items, and compare them over time. Great Lakes Section’s Climate Change Fisheries Technician Ronnie Parisien Jr. has spent the past year riding commercial fishing tugs, and thanks to the coopera- tion of the tribal fishers, he has been able to do just that with over four hundred lake whitefish collected. Baseline information on the seasonal diets of the commercially important lake whitefish collected over the past year, and information to be collected in the future, will be used to track any changes that may occur due to invasive species and/or climate change over time. In Michigami (Lake Michigan), lake whitefish growth declined following the invasive zebra and quagga mussel invasion. The growth in the mussel population was followed by a decline in phytoplankton (small plants in the water), and a drastic drop in diporeia numbers, which made up over half the whitefish diet. This not only led to declines in the size of commercially harvested lake whitefish but wreaked havoc on the entire food-web and led to reductions in fish stocking for recreational trout and salmon fisheries. (see Adikameg, page 19) (see Chinamekos, page 19) PAGE 13 MAZINA’IGAN