Tribal Efforts to Restore a Native Cisco

Tribal Efforts to Restore a Native Cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Lake Michigan: Implications for Native Fish Community Structure, Function and Resilience (INT)
Kevin Donner, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Additional Contributor: Doug Larson, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Native fish communities of Lake Michigan (particularly native, planktivorous, forage fishes) have experienced significant declines and are largely replaced by nonnative fishes (e.g. alewife and smelt) further promoting fundamentally altered fish community structure and function. Interest in re-establishment of native planktivores in Lake Michigan is growing among tribal, federal, state and non-profit agencies most recently exemplified by the formation of a native planktivore restoration task-group by the Lake Michigan Committee. In an effort to inform planktivore rehabilitation strategies, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians initiated a program to evaluate hatchery based restoration of cisco (Coregonus artedi), a native planktivore that was among the most prevalent of forage fishes in the Great Lakes prior to European settlement. An overview of the program and implications of cisco population re-establishment are discussed.

Kevin Donner, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Kevin Donner has served as the Great Lakes fisheries biologist for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB) since December 2011. He directs the activities of the Great Lakes Fishery Program, which include research and management of species of economic, ecological and/or cultural importance to the Tribe. He represents LTBB on an alphabet soup of interagency workgroups, committees, and advisory teams. His background includes research evaluating landscape patterns of mercury cycling through aquatic communities in the Willamette watershed, Oregon, characterizing and quantifying aquatic foodwebs and fish community interactions in the Grand Canyon, wrangling endangered suckers in southern Oregon, and a variety of other fishy projects in Ohio and Michigan. He received an MS in biology in 2011 from Idaho State University and a BS in biology in 2006 from Grand Valley State University.