Past, present and future of fisheries management in the Apostle Islands

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Fish are an important part of the local culture and fisheries management has faced many challenges over the past 50+ years.

Declines in fisheries due to invasive species and over-harvest began in the 1950’s and by the formation of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore in 1970 the fish populations were at historic lows.

Fisheries management successfully focused on Lake Trout restoration goals thorough cooperative management of all users in Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior.

Current management is focused on monitoring and setting safe harvest limits for fisheries through fisheries management activities and has been shown to be successful. However, new challenges are emerging and will direct fisheries management for the future.

Brad Ray, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Presenter biography

Brad Ray

Brad Ray is the WDNR Lake Superior Team Supervisor working as part of the team where he started his career as an intern 20 years ago.

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Brad earned his B.S. from Northland College, where his passion for fisheries began.  

He continued his education at the University of Minnesota-Duluth with research focused on the spatial and temporal trends in lake trout diets in Lake Superior from 1986-2001. He later received a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech studying largemouth bass recruitment issues in trophy reservoirs. Prior to his return to the shores of Lake Superior, Brad served as an Associate Professor of Fisheries at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

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