Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations

The GLFT’s Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations (EHSFP) grant category supports the restoration and maintenance of the biological integrity of the Lake Michigan fish community so that production of desirable fish is sustainable and ecologically efficient.

Key elements of this funding area include:

  • Creating a more resilient and stable fish community of valued species
  • Increasing the sustainable value of the fishery to the stakeholders
  • Preserving self-sustaining fish populations

Funding Priorities

The GLFT supports its EHSFP goals through a combination of competitive and funder-directed grantmaking.

For 2021, the GLFT is accepting proposals for the following funding themes under EHSFP:

  • Ecological and Biological Fisheries Research to Inform Management
  • Habitat Protection and Restoration

Visit the Apply Now page for application guidance documents and to submit an application.

Lake Michigan Priority 

The settlement agreement establishing the GLFT requires that priority be given to efforts that benefit the Lake Michigan fishery.

All GLFT-funded projects must have benefits directed primarily to the Great Lakes. Projects outside of the Lake Michigan basin are considered if their results and outcomes are transferable to Lake Michigan.

It is important to note that the GLFT’s Lake Michigan priority emphasizes benefit to the Lake Michigan fishery, as opposed to activity limited to Lake Michigan. The question is not whether the funded project actually takes place within the Lake Michigan watershed, but whether proposed research will yield knowledge and information that will benefit the Lake Michigan fishery. For some areas of research inquiry, cross-lake comparative efforts may be more productive than studies focused exclusively on Lake Michigan, and such studies are both consistent with the Lake Michigan priority and encouraged.

Connection to the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of the Great Lakes Fisheries

The GLFT has established a close relationship between its intentions for support of ecological and biological fisheries research to inform management and A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of the Great Lakes Fisheries (Joint Plan).

The interagency management of fishery resources in the Great Lakes was formalized in the 1980s in the Joint Plan, which provides a process and structure for a consensus approach to fish-community management on each of the Great Lakes. This process, facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, relies on individual lake committees representing the fishery resource management agencies with management responsibilities on each of the Great Lakes. The lake committees have adopted Fish-Community Objectives for each lake, containing consensus recommendations on goals and objectives for the respective fish communities. The individual lake committees are supported by technical committees, and, in many cases, by task or working groups focused on specific species or issues. Through these structures, the management agencies have developed and adopted various planning documents, and routinely identify priority research needs.

Application Information

Visit our Apply Now page to submit an application. The forms and instructions necessary to guide you through the application process are provided in the application guidance document. 

If you have further questions about the funding process, please contact Jonathon Beard, Program Director, at 517.371.7468.