Scientists are using high-tech trackers on lean and siscowet lake trout to observe depth selection. But how will this effect the fish that's on your dinner table?
"This is a great study because it will be the first time that we're using this advanced satellite technology to study the daily lives of both lake troutâ??, said Shawn Sitar, Research Biologist for the Fishery Division of the Michigan DNR.
Lake Superior is making the history books by becoming the first and only great lake to feature satellite technology on its fish.
"This is a project in which we're tagging using satellite pop up tags lake trout,â?? said Dr. Rick Goetz, Supervisory Research Physiologist for NOAA. â??We're actually tagging two different morphotypes or different types of lake trout: one called lean and one called siscowet."
Using these tags, scientists will be able to track the position, depth, and temperature of where the fish are for the next year. But what will they be able to do with this information?
"There is some concern that there are so many siscowets in Lake Superior because of the deep water lake that they could impact or compete with lean lake troutâ??, said Sitar.
Siscowets are the most abundant form of lake trout in Superior, but lean lake trout is considered the preferred species by fishermen.
"What we're expecting is to see that the lean trout that we've tagged will stay shallow when they're released and the siscowets will go deep just like the wild siscowetsâ??, said Goetz.
And if they're right? Then scientists will have discovered something much deeper than just the daily habits of lake trout.
"That would mean that the basis for selection of depth has a genetic basis to itâ??, said Goetz.
The DNR hopes to have a 100-percent recovery rate of these tags, but says that for anyone who finds and returns these tags there is a $100 reward.