Region 3 wild coregonine brood stock collection activities for FY 2021 in support of restoration activities on Lake Huron and Lake Ontario

Contributing Authors

Scott Koproski (USFWS,,Kevin McDonnell (USFWS), Jose Bonilla-Gomez (USFWS), Dale Hanson (USFWS), Roger Gordon (USFWS)

Executive Summary

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Midwest Region Fisheries Program carried out two projects in support of a multi-agency effort to restore coregonid populations in Lakes Huron and Ontario. The first project began in 2015 when USFWS began documenting the spawning locations of cisco (Coregonus artedi) in northern Lake Huron. In 2016 USFWS began collecting cisco from those northern Lake Huron populations in support of the development of a line of captive brood stock at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery (NFH). From 2016 to 2020 cisco gametes were collected from two sites in Northern Lake Huron (Les Cheneaux Islands and Drummond Island) using short set gillnets (90m in depth) weekly during January and February. No sampling occurred during 2019 due to the federal shutdown. In 2021 collections were made between 1/12/2021 and 2/25/2021 with overnight, bottom set, 65mm bar gill-nets in waters ranging from 93m to 142m in depth just east of Kewaunee, WI. In each year, sampling continued until between 90 and 100 spawning pairs were collected, and all eggs were transferred to the Jordan River NFH for incubation. Each spawn pairing (family) consisted of one female crossed with two males. There were a total of 120 pairings used in 2018, whose progeny represent an effective population size (Ne) of 320 individuals (Kapuscinksi and Jacobson 2007). In 2020, a total 75 pairings were used which produced a separate progeny line with an estimated effective population size of 200. The 2021 year class suffered from low gamete quality due to the use of gillnets, however a total of 55 suitable pairings were available which resulted in a Ne of 110. All three resulting year classes of bloater are currently housed at Jordan River NFH and will be available to support bloater stocking efforts in Lake Ontario.


A total of 434 pairs of cisco were collected to develop the broodstock between 2016 and 2020
A total of 321 pairs of bloater were collected with a total of 250 pairs contributing to the broodstock lines during 2018-2021
Over 2.8 million cisco were stocked (2018-2020) in Saginaw Bay

Funded In

Funding Agency


Restoration Framework Phase

Project Impact



Project Subjects