**ABSTRACT NOT FOR CITATION WITHOUT AUTHOR PERMISSION. The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below.  For a copy of the full completion report, please contact the author via e-mail at njohnson@usgs.gov or via phone at 989-734-4768. Questions? Contact the GLFC via email at frp@glfc.org or via telephone at 734-662-3209.**


Transfer of Finnish Coregonine Culture Techniques and a Retrospective Analysis of Restoration Strategies to Advance Coregonine Restoration in the Great Lakes

Project ID 2013_BRO_77002

Report A: Transfer of Finnish Coregonine Culture Techniques


Roger R. Gordon1, Kevin K. Loftus2, Edward A. Eisch3,

Gregory J. Fischer4, Greg Wright5 and Charles R. Bronte6


Report B: Retrospective Analysis of Restoration Strategies to Advance Coregonine Restoration in the Great Lakes

Rachel M. Van Dam6, Matthew S. Kornis6, Christina C. Haska7, Zachary W. Blevins7, John M. Dettmers7 , Andrew M. Muir7, Charles C. Krueger8, and Charles R. Bronte6


1 U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jordan River National Fish Hatchery, 6623 Turner Road, Elmira, MI 49730

2 Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Fish and Wildlife Services Branch, P.O. Box 7000, 300 Water Street, Peterborough, ON, K9J 3C7

3Michigan Department of Natural Resource, 2122 South M-37, Traverse City, MI 49685

4 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, P.O. Box 165, Bayfield, WI 54814

5 Chippewa Ottawa Treaty Authority, Nunns Creek Fish Hatchery, HC 47, Box 8100, Hessel, MI 49745

6 U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, 2661 Scott Tower Drive, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA 54229

7Great Lakes Fishery Commission, 2100 Commonwealth Blvd., Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

8Michigan State University, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, 1405 South Harrison Road, 115 Manly Miles Building, East Lansing, MI, 48823


January 2017




Coregonine culture in North American is rare compared to in Northern Europe where they have been cultured for decades to meet demands for mitigation, restoration, and the development of an aquaculture industry for food.

Reintroduction of coregonines is now being considered for some of the Great Lakes, and the operational transition to accommodate coregonines in existing or new facilities can be informed by existing, long-standing protocols in European hatcheries. To capitalize on this existing knowledge, a North American team of hatchery and management biologists visited state and private facilities in Finland that were raising coregonines. Details on captive brood stock management, egg collection and incubation, rearing, marking, and transportation and stocking were investigated. The large scale nature of efforts overseas will greatly inform any efforts in North America by eliminating unnecessary research on culture and stocking techniques, and reducing the time and expense to establish restoration programs.



Historically in the Laurentian Great Lakes, coregonines were the principal prey for the largest lake trout populations in the world. The collapse of cisco (C. artedi) and deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus spp.) during the 1920-1960s altered energy flow and predator-prey dynamics throughout the basin. With recent reductions of non-native prey fishes across all the Great Lakes, restoration of native coregonines through stocking is now being considered. Great Lakes hatchery managers travelled to Finland in 2012 and 2014 to observe and transfer knowledge from well-established large-scale government and private coregonine culture programs. To augment the knowledge gained from those exchanges, we examined the efficacy of coregonine stocking programs in North America, Europe, and Asia through a retrospective analysis from the literature on coregonine stocking attempts. We evaluated system-specific (e.g., lake size), species-specific (e.g., species stocked), and implementation-specific (e.g., number of years stocked) variables associated with stocking programs to identify those that contributed to reestablishment success. Boosted regression trees were used to analyze the influence of each variable on the binary outcome of stocking (success or failure). Results indicated that species stocked, lake size, and number of years stocked were most influential on stocking success. Success rates were species-specific. Small lakes (under 5,000 ha) and long stocking periods were associated with success. Results support the idea that proposed culture and stocking protocols can be refined and adapted to provide the best opportunity to restore extirpated coregonines in the Great Lakes.