Water test: One fish, two fish – where are all the whitefish?

LANSING — Three men pull a fat-tired wagon filled with scientific equipment through the sand of Muskegon’s Pere Marquette beach. Dressed in layers against the late spring cold, their camo-print chest waders lend a rocking character to their gait not typical of beachgoers.

“It’s one of the most fun things we get to do in our jobs,” said Steve Pothoven, a fishery biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Muskegon.

Pothoven and fellow researchers Jeff Elliott and Aaron Dunnuck work beaches along Lake Michigan in May and June, studying how well young lake whitefish grow to be adults.

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