Water test: a long history and hopeful future of human impact on Great Lakes ecology

The Lake Michigan and Lake Huron waters governed by an 1836 treaty are at the heart of negotiations between Michigan, the federal government and Native American tribes to determine how much and what kinds of fish can be harvested. Much has changed since the treaty was signed in 1836, notably because of invasive mussels. But human activity changed the lakes long before then. 

Water test: One fish, two fish – where are all the whitefish?

Since the early 2000s fewer young whitefish have been making it to adulthood. Understanding the decline of lake whitefish recruitment is important for fishery managers and regulators as they approach the deadline to update a 2000 consent decree that regulates recreational and commercial fishing in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. 

Water test: Where biology meets geometry in the Great Lakes

How the shape of the Great Lakes now compares with their past is important as negotiators update the consent decree addressing commercial and recreational fishing interests in waters covered by an 1836 treaty. The deadline is at the end of June, the third such decree covering these contentious waters. The most recent one in 2000 was for 20 years, and it’s overdue for an update.  

Water test: quagga mussels hijack key Great Lakes nutrient

The impact that quagga mussels have on the Great Lakes food web gives deep meaning to the saying, ‘food for thought.’ These prodigious filter-feeders are implicated in the decline of many Great Lakes fish species, well beyond those with commercial and recreational value.

Water test: Rending the Great Lakes food web

The food web in lakes Michigan and Huron has changed in ways that jeopardize age-old fishing traditions and raise questions about how we’ve managed them. Now negotiators are updating a legal settlement that spells out where and how much lake whitefish and lake trout can be harvested. 

Lake breeze can be harmful to health

Regions 30 miles off the Lake Michigan coast are subject to a polluted lake breeze that contaminates air quality. Their toxic reach varies depending on the weather. 

Cruise ships return to the Great Lakes

After a two-year hiatus, Great Lakes cruise ships are back, and the industry is trying to prepare itself. Cruise companies will start expeditions in May and end them in October.