A detailed look at the history, health, and management of the Great Lakes fishery

Look Inside


One of the Great Lakes region’s most precious natural resources is its fishery, with its intricate web of aquatic life, the environments it inhabits, and the people who use and enjoy these areas. The Great Lakes fishery supports not only an important commercial fishing industry but also tourism in eight different states and two countries, attracting millions of recreational anglers each year. As valuable as the fishery is, it is equally fragile. Since the 1950s, state, provincial, and federal agencies have coordinated efforts to manage the fishery and protect it from a range of threats, from the spread of invasive species to nutrient pollution to habitat destruction.

Now in its fourth edition, The Life of the Lakes examines the complex portrait of the Great Lakes fishery, including the history of the fishery’s exploitation and management, the current health of the Lakes, and the outlook for the future. Featuring more graphics, photos, and illustrations than ever, all printed in full color, the new edition of this engaging book is a perfect resource for general readers, teachers, and students looking for an easy-to-follow guide to the Great Lakes fishery. This book is published in collaboration with Michigan Sea Grant (www.michiganseagrant.org), a cooperative program of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Brandon C. Schroeder and Dan M. O'Keefe are educators for the Great Lakes Fisheries Education and Management Program at Michigan Sea Grant.
Shari L. Dann is Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

“I have found The Life of the Lakes to be the best source to turn to for the questions that I have about the Great Lakes fishery. The illustrations and the environmental information are appreciated by everyone, but what I value most is the balance of information about the commercial, tribal, and sport fishery, and why we have the system that is in place today.”
—Amanda Holmes, Executive Director, Fishtown Preservation Society, Leland, MI