The cisco (Coregonus artedi) and the bloater (Coregonus hoyi) both played critical roles in the trophic dynamics of the Great Lakes. They were the primary native prey species for top predator fish such as the lake trout. By the 1950’s, however, overfishing and competition with non-native, plankton-eating prey fish (alewife) caused the collapse of these native prey species, and subsequently contributed to the collapse of the lake trout fishery. Re-establishing sustainable populations of cisco and bloater in Lake Ontario, through propagation and stocking is the focus of a cooperative, international effort between the New York State Department of Environmental ConservationOntario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Fishery Center, Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, and the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery, the U.S. Geological Survey- Tunison Lab in New York, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Since 2017, we have stocked out 555,000 cisco in Lake Ontario. Our efforts are now focused on restoring bloater in Lake Ontario. We are developing rearing capacity at the Northeast Fishery Center and at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery to achieve annual stocking goal of 500,000 fingerling and yearling bloaters for Lake Ontario. We also are working to improve breeding and culture protocols, which we will share with our partners across the Great Lakes to help them restore bloater in other Lakes. Our collective efforts not only benefit lake trout but anglers will win too.

Contact Information

Northeast Fishery Center Director
Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Expertise
Fisheries Management,
Fish Ecology,
Fish Culture,
Adaptive Management
Area
ME
NH
VT
NY
PA
MD
DE
CT
MA
VA
WV
RI
NJ
KY
Lamar, PA

Species

Programs

The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.

Facilities

The Allegheny National Fish Hatchery (ANFH), located in Warren, Pennsylvania produces lake trout and bloaters for restoration in Lakes Erie and Ontario. The hatchery is one of 11 National Fish Hatcheries throughout the Northeast Region working to restore, enhance and maintain heritage fisheries for...
The Northeast Fishery Center (Center), located in Lamar, PA includes the Lamar Fish Health Center and the Lamar National Fish Hatchery and Fish Technology Center. We help guide and conduct the science and technology needed to restore and conserve species and their habitats. Our research helps...

Library Collections

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices specialize in providing fish population information. This data is critical for managing fisheries and assessing management strategies. Data is collected by tagging and recapturing fish, monitoring angler harvest, and even tracking the DNA they behind leave in...
Seven laboratories provide conservation genetics research and support to the Service and its partners. The labs provide sampling guidance, genetic data generation, and interpretation of genetic data for management, conservation and policy issues. Using a suite of molecular techniques, the labs...