The directive of the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring Surveillance Program (GLFMSP) is to look for toxic chemicals in top predator fish of the Great Lakes, such as lake trout and walleye, which play an important role in Lake Erie’s multi-million-dollar sport fishing industry. The program’s scientists monitor changes in the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the food web as a result of changing regulations on, for example, cancer-causing compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCB concentrations have been decreasing since the late 1970s, when their production was banned in the United States. The monitoring program has mapped this trend and laid the groundwork for many other toxin monitoring programs in the U.S.


Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant