That whitefish might be a herring!

The Leelanau Enterprise has a feature about a strain of lake herring that just came across my news feed about a Great Lakes fish long thought to be extinct that is making a comeback in Grand Traverse Bay:

A strain of lake herring more commonly seen in the last century in Lake Superior is now thriving in local waters, according to fisheries research biologist Randy Claramunt of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources research station in Charlevoix.

Fishermen who were targeting salmon in Grand Traverse Bay would occasionally find these fish that looked a lot like whitefish – but not quite,” according to Claramunt. “Then, these fish started showing up occasionally in commercial nets.”

It wasn’t until the early 2000’s, Claramunt said, that biologists confirmed the presence of the lost lake herring – and found a spawning population of them on the shoals of East Grand Traverse Bay.

“To the average person it might look identical to whitefish – so I’m sure people are eating them; and we’ve seen some for sale as whitefish through the commercial fishery,” Claramunt said.

Read on at the link above and sorry for missing this at first because Claramunt was doing a public talk that would have been interesting to attend!

Photo courtesy Michigan DNR.



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