The final report from the 2023 Lake Ontario Spring Preyfish Assessment is now available on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission website (PDF).
Alewife are the main prey in Lake Ontario and support a multi-million dollar sport fishery in which fisheries managers must balance stocking levels with lake prey levels.
Lake Ontario preyfish are assessed annually through a multi-agency bottom trawl survey conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNR).
The 2023 assessment found:
- A large year class of alewife produced in 2022 (measured as age-1 fish in 2023).
- Adult alewife biomass increased slightly from last year.
- Adult alewife biomass is predicted to increase again in 2024.