Our research projects in the Sport Fish Ecology Lab span a wide variety of species and systems investigating the relationships between sport fish population dynamics and human activities. We lead the Ancient Sport Fishes Project, where we are investigating the population dynamics, angler exploitation, spatial ecology, and genetics of gars and Bowfin throughout Illinois. We explore the physiological, behavioral, and evolutionalry mechanisms that drive vulnerabilty to hook and line capture in largemouth bass and bluegill, both freshwater sport fish common in North America. We study lake trout natural reproduction in southern Lake Michigan as this nearly extirpated species is rehabilitated. In addition, we also study bonefish and sharks in the eastern Carribbean, where we are interested in understanding how angling these species can affect their survival in the short term, and population demographics in the long term.

Research projects focusing on Illinois sport fish are primarily funded by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Project F-69-R “Research and Analysis of Fisheries in Illinois.”

Interested in learning more about F-69-R research? Download a brochure detailing Sport Fish Research in Illinois