State of the knowledge of culturing native fishes in the Great Lakes: Applying an eco-genetic model to inform the risks and identify key knowledge gaps



Proposals for culturing native freshwater fish species can pose risks associated with the potential of genetic interactions with wild conspecifics. Ongoing low-levels of escaped fish from cages is likely, and larger escape events have occurred in the past, both of which could result in interactions between farmed fish with wild stocks. This project will examine the ecological and genetic risks of Yellow Perch, Walleye, and Lake Whitefish escapees on conspecific wild populations in Lake Huron by conducting a directed literature review and data assessment to summarize the state of knowledge. The state of knowledge will be evaluated to identify the extent to which defensible information exists on culturing these fish species, and to identify existing knowledge gaps. The literature review will include key processes such as rates of inheritance, growth, and maturation important to determining ecological and genetic impacts. Results from the project will support management decision-making, policy development, and identify data gaps for future priority research.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal investigator

Thomas Pratt
Research scientist, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Science, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste Marie, ON