BY ADAM KOWALSKI, ALPENA FWCO
During July and August, staff from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) and volunteers conducted the annual fishery independent lake whitefish survey in 1836 Treaty waters of northern Lake Huron. The purpose of this survey is to collect fishery independent abundance and biological data on lake whitefish stocks in treaty waters for use in statistical catch-at-age population models that are updated annually to determine harvest regulations for commercial fisheries in 1836 Treaty waters of the Great Lakes.
During the survey, 24 variable mesh gill nets (two to six inch) were set at randomly selected sites in lake whitefish management unit WFH 04 (Hammond Bay to Presque Isle) and lake whitefish management unit WFH 05 (Presque Isle to Alpena). All whitefish and lake trout collected were measured, weighed, sexed, assessed for maturity and visceral fat content, and checked for sea lamprey wounds, fin clips, and tags. Scales and otoliths were collected for age determination. Similar biological data were collected from non-target species. Four lake whitefish were collected from unit WFH04 and one was collected from unit WFH05.