Oligotrophic Lake Superior supports fewer reproducing fish species (55) and produces fewer fish per surface area than the other Great Lakes. However, Lake Superior has bragging rights when it comes to fish because it supports a robust suite of native species.
Commercial and recreational fisheries are important on Lake Superior. The health of Lake Superior's fishery has improved tremendously during the last 40 years. For example, the rehabilitation of naturally reproducing lake trout populations has eliminated the need to stock them in many areas. Problems remain for the fishery and the ecosystem, however, like the intentional and unintentional introductions of non-native fish species, habitat destruction, development, and pollution.
Sea Grant strives to improve our knowledge of Lake Superior fisheries by funding research and conducting outreach to understand:
- Food web interactions,
- Fish population and community dynamics,
- Socio-economic impacts of fishery management decisions,
- Contaminants and fish habitat alteration,
- The use of fish as food.
- Cisco: Also known as Lake Herring
- This Lake Superior fish has a history with Minnesota's North Shore commercial fishermen. The species has a sustainable future with them as well.
- Lake Sturgeon and Stories of Science
- The lovely lake sturgeon can still turn heads. Learn more about the past and future of this ancient species in the St. Louis Estuary.
- Fish Parasites
- From flukes to infections, fish are subject to some nasty things; fortunately, that does not need to affect your love of eating fish. Here are some things you can do to avoid parasites during your next fishy meal.
- Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia: Are Our Fish Doomed?
- Learn how damaging VHSV might be to Minnesota's fisheries.
- Science Through the Eyes of Fish
- Studies of fish eyesight are increasing our understanding of evolution, human health, and predator-prey relationships.
- Lake Superior's Sustainable Cisco (or is it Lake Herring?) Fishery
- Whether you call them cisco or lake herring, resource managers and commercial fishermen are harvesting this species in a sustainable way in the Minn. waters of Lake Superior.
- Trout, Ciscoes, and Shrimp: News from the Serrated Edge of Science
- Life in the pelagic zone of Lake Superior clearly has its ups and downs. Learn how Great Lakes research is accomplished and why light and predator pressure sends some species to the lake floor.
- Stout Trout Eyed for Market
- Siscowet lake trout were a topic of debate at a workshop this summer. The fatty fish might be abundant enough in Lake Superior to commercially harvest. But would such a fishery be sustainable and economically feasible?
- VHS Virus Facts
- A fact sheet about Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia.
- Federal Order about Fish Virus Disrupts Industry, Agencies, and Anglers
- Fish management and fish farming in the Great Lakes has received a significant one-two punch.
- Lake Superior and Michigan Fisheries: A Closer Look
- An examination of the Lake Superior fishery, using Lake Michigan as a reference point.
- Understanding Fisheries Management
- This 36-page PDF document is a manual for understanding what our Great Lakes fishery management decisions are based on and how management decisions are made.
- Fish Consumption & Health
- Award-winning fish recipes and information about consuming fish and fish oils.
- Lake Superior Fish Classic
- A professional chef cook-off and tasting event that featured the culinary expertise of Midwest chefs and Lake Superior fish like you've never tasted them before.
- Fish Sensory Systems
- Sight - taste - touch - smell - hearing. Fish may be cold-blooded, but they're not insensitive.
- The Mystery of the Missing Smelt
- Many factors have been playing into the fluctuation of the smelt population.
- Let Em Down Easy: Returning a Fish to Deep Water
- When deepwater anglers catch and release, it is sometimes hard for fish to get back down, which could end in fish fatality. Knowing the signs of barotrauma and ways to combat it, however, can help.
- Smelting on Lake Superior
- Everything you need to know about smelting.
- Estimated Economic Impact of Recreational Fishing on Minn. Waters of Lake Superior
- The recreational fishing inudustry contributed approximately $9.74 million in direct expenditures to the state in 1990.
- Watch for Nets!
- Learn to identify and avoid commercial fishing nets in Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.
- Commercial Fishing: The Life, the Limits, the Lore
- Commercial fishing has been a cultural tradition and the livelihood for many along Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior since the late 1800s, but the industry almost didn't survive. Today, Minnesota once again has a sustainable industry.
- Aquatic Invasive Species
- Several Aquatic Invasive Species are fish that threaten our ecosystem and economy.
- Aquaculture is the general term used to describe the breeding and rearing of aquatic animals and plants in controlled or selected environments.
- Catching Up With Aquatic Science
- A radio program and podcast about research concerning aquatic systems and coastal communities.
- Superior Science News
- A radio series about Lake Superior research.