The State of the Lake Reports

Cooperative inter-jurisdictional fishery management occurs in the Great Lakes through a formal agreement, A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries. To implement this agreement, fishery agencies of the five lake committees reach consensus about objectives that define desired fish community structure for every Great Lake and develop a means of measuring progress toward achievement of these fish community objectives. Every five years, on a rotational basis, a lake committee openly assesses progress towards achievement of its fish community objectives by hosting a special "State of the Lake" conference and later publishing conference proceedings in a special State of the Lake Report. Previously, reports were published as a formal publication by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. This new online reporting format, endorsed by the Council of Lake Committees, provides more timely information to the interested public.

Lake Reports

Previous Lake Reports


Fish Community Objectives - The shared vision of a lake committee to provide a fish community of species and populations of common concern at levels that support socially-desired fisheries in a Great Lake ecosystem, as determined through consensus agreement of a lake committee.

Goal - High level vision for the desired fish community and/or the benefits it provides to resource users and society in general.

Objective - Objectives focus on achievable outcomes for specific qualities desired in a fish community or individual species. Progress toward achieving objectives during the 5-year reporting period is evaluated using indicators and targets.

Indicator - General metric(s) used to measure progress toward achieving objectives for the fish community or individual fish species.

Target - A specific metric value or range defined by the lake committee by which progress toward meeting objectives can be measured, such as species abundance, sport fishery catch rate, commercial fishery harvest rate, etc.