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Commercial Fisheries of the Upper Mississippi River: A Century of Sustained Harvest

Zachary B. Klein, Michael C. Quist, Leandro E. Miranda, Michelle M. Marron, Michael J. Steuck, Kirk A. Hansen
Fisheries 2018 v.43 no.12 pp. 563-574
fish, fish communities, freshwater, Mississippi River
Commercial harvest is often considered as a primary cause of fish population declines in marine and inland systems throughout the world. However, much of the data supporting the negative attributes of commercial harvest are derived from marine fisheries and may not be directly applicable to inland fisheries. In this study, over 60 years of commercial fishery data from the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) was synthesized to better understand how inland commercial fisheries function and to address concerns associated with the exploitation of aquatic resources in freshwater systems. Overall, total commercial harvest in the UMR remained relatively stable over the study period and did not negatively influence fish populations or recreational fisheries. Our results address concerns associated with inland fisheries and highlight how proper management and interagency partnerships result in consistent and productive fisheries over large spatial and temporal scales.