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The Salmon Capital of Michigan

The Rise and Fall of a Great Lakes Fishery

Carson Prichard

Great Lakes, Environmental Studies, Ecology, Michigan

Great Lakes Books Series

Available April 2024
ISBN: 9780814351130
Pages: 256 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 9 black-and-white images
Available April 2024
ISBN: 9780814351147

Weaving together the stories and voices of residents, anglers, community leaders, and environmental workers and researchers, this ethnographic account details the lives and livelihoods impacted by a once-unrivaled Michigan salmon fishery. From the introduction of Chinook salmon to the Great Lakes in the late 1960s, a thriving recreational fishery industry arose in Northern Michigan, attracting thousands of anglers to small towns like Rogers City each week at its peak. By the early 2000s, a crisis loomed beneath the surface of Lake Huron as the population of a prey fish species called alewife unexpectedly collapsed, depleting the salmon’s main source of food. By 2007, the salmon population had collapsed too, leaving local fisheries and their respective communities lacking a key commodity and a bid on fishery tourism. Author, angler, and ecologist Carson Prichard artfully incorporates fisheries science and local news media into an oral history that is entertaining, rich, and genuine. Complementing an ecological understanding of events, this narrative details the significance of the fishery and its loss as experienced by the townspeople whose lives it touched.

Carson Prichard is an avid angler and outdoorsman. He received his PhD in earth and ecosystem science from Central Michigan University in 2018. His research in fisheries science, Great Lakes ecology, and the fish populations in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. Raised in Jenison, Michigan, Prichard now resides in Gainesville, Florida.