Cisco, or lake herring, were once abundant fish in the Great Lakes that provided both a commercial fishery and served as forage fish. In recent years the most abundant populations of cisco now only exist in Lake Superior and northern Lake Huron.
In Lake Michigan, there is a small remnant population of cisco in the northern part of the lake. When cisco disappeared the predominant forage fish that took its place was the non-native alewife.
A research team led by Sara Alderstein, an associate research scientist at the University of Michigan, will use existing data and guided workshops and discussions to help stakeholders create a path for cisco restoration in Lake Michigan. This summer, the project team will provide a framework for helping managers and the fishing community advance a preferred option for Lake Michigan cisco restoration.