Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant works with state fisheries agencies to collate fisheries data for Lake Michigan. This work has resulted in more than 30 years of fisheries data published in two interactive websites: Angler Archive and Fish Atlas. For questions about either website, contact the project leader, Mitchell Zischke.
Angler Archive provides easy access to long-term recreational fishing data collected in southern Lake Michigan. These data have been provided by the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The INHS and IDNR collect data by conducting creel surveys to interview anglers while they are fishing or just after. By conducting surveys on many days and at many locations throughout the region, scientists can extrapolate these data to the entire southern Lake Michigan fishery.
Angler Archive allows you to explore many different types of fisheries such as fishing effort, harvest rates and expenditure. In particular, you can:
- Explore trends in three recreational fisheries from the mid 1980s.
- Filter and compare data by factors such as month, site, and target species.
- Visualize the data in a number of different ways.
- Export charts and data table.
Fish Atlas provides an interactive map to view charter boat fishing data throughout Lake Michigan. These data are collected through charter captain logbooks and have been provided by the Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan Departments of Natural Resources. In those three states, charter operators are required to record their fishing effort and catch in 10×10 km grid cells across Lake Michigan.
Charter boat fishing data have been collated and presented for five species of salmon and trout: Chinook salmon, coho salmon, lake trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. Fish Atlas allows you to explore how catch rates of these species change spatially across Lake Michigan during the fishing season (May-September). You can also compare data between past and current time periods.
Angler Archive video
Newsroom article about Angler Archive
Newsroom article about scientific research using charter fishing data
Newsroom article about economic research on recreational fishing in southern Lake Michigan