Study to track walleye, lake whitefish in and around Green Bay a win-win for researchers, anglers

The U.S. Geological Survey, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wisconsin DNR, Michigan DNR and the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System are collaborating on a large-scale study to determine movements of walleye and lake whitefish in and around Green Bay.

This important research will provide new information regarding seasonal movements of individual fish and help determine which spawning locations are critical to the sport and commercial fisheries for these species, the Michigan DNR said in a news release Tuesday, Jan. 30.

The study consists of implanting transmitters into 300 walleye and 400 lake whitefish. The transmitters are black cylinders that are surgically implanted into the body cavity of the fish. These transmitters periodically send out a coded signal that is detected by an array of more than 150 acoustic receivers located in and around Green Bay. The transmitters will allow tracking of fish for up to four years. A small temperature sensor, attached to each transmitter, will also allow researchers to better understand the water temperature preferences of individual fish along with likely water depths used by each fish.

Each fish implanted with a transmitter will receive an external orange loop tag, indicating a $100 reward for return of the transmitter. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR)

Each fish implanted with a transmitter also will receive an external orange loop tag (see accompanying photo), indicating a $100 reward for return of the transmitter. Recovered internal transmitters can be implanted in other fish to continue tracking efforts.

If one of these tagged fish is legally harvested, anglers are asked not to freeze the fish and to contact Dr. Dan Isermann with University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 715-346-2178 or dan.isermann@uwsp.edu to coordinate the tag’s return and reward.

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