Population trends of major near-shore fish species in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan
The purpose of this research was to determine population trends of major nearshore fish species in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan from 1984 to 1998 to gain insight into species dynamics. Index trawl samples were collected twice monthly from June through August at three locations. Trends of catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) were investigated for the most abundant species: yellow perch (Perca flavescens), alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mord iz), and bloater (Coregonus hoyi). Trawl catch of yellow perch, alewife, and spottail shiners at sites M, K, and G were strongly correlated suggesting similar fluctuations. Young-of-the-year trawl catch revealed that insight to population dynamics of species was not always reliable. Trawl CPUE of > age 1 fish provided insight to dynamics of the major species at all sample locations with strong trend similarities between sites. No strong major species interactions were found using simple linear correlations.