Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Annual Update of Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database Completed
BY RYAN WEHSE, GREEN BAY FWCO
Michigan in 2016. Credit: Ryan Wehse, USFWS
How is it that information from more than 28 million fish stocked in the Great Lakes can become readily available for managers, researchers and anglers? The answer is an enormous stocking database that is annually updated by the Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (GBFWCO) and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). All federal, state, tribal, and provincial agencies contribute to the tens of millions of fish that are annually stocked into the Great Lakes and the stocking data they record is what gets updated on the GLFC website. All stocking data is sent to the Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation office where Ryan Wehse is responsible for compiling the data into one database. By April 1st, the database is sent to the GLFC web designer Jeff McAuley and submitted for public viewing. The database has stocking records dating back to the 1950’s and is available at http://www.glfc.org/fishstocking/.
The stocking database allows managers, researchers, and the general public to view the number of fish stocked by species, location, and date for the five Great Lakes. The stocking database is an important resource for managers as it provides numbers of stocked fish entering the population for stock assessment models, and provides others with the characteristics of stocked fish including fin-clip and coded-wire tag information. The database also plays an important role in supporting fisheries management decisions and informing users of historical and current fish stocking activities.