Spatial shifts in salmonine harvest, harvest rate, and effort by charter boat anglers in Lake Michigan, 1992–2012

Nicholas T. Simpson, Andrew Honsey, Edward S. Rutherford, Tomas O. Höök

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Stocked and naturally reproducing salmonids in Lake Michigan support an economically important charter boat fishery which operates from multiple locations around the lake. Charter boat operators depend on the sustainability and spatial availability of salmonid species. We analyzed the spatial distributions of charter boat harvest of brown trout, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, lake trout, and rainbow trout from 1992 to 2012. We found that during this 21 year period fishing effort shifted closer to shore, to the west, and to the north. Harvest of some species, namely lake trout and rainbow trout, shifted towards shallower bottom depths and closer to shore. In contrast, harvests of Chinook and coho salmon have not shifted closer to shore in a consistent manner. We suggest that a variety of factors may have contributed to these trends in harvest patterns, including recent ecosystem shifts in Lake Michigan. While we acknowledge that spatial harvest patterns are unlikely to precisely mirror salmonid distribution patterns, we believe that reporting coarse shifts in harvest has implications for future management options including, but not limited to, stocking decisions and harvest regulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1117
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016


  • Climate change
  • Diet shift
  • Distribution
  • Harvest
  • Invasive species
  • Nearshore shunt


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