Great Lake Fisheries Commission honors Krueger

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Charles Krueger, the T. F. Waters Chair Aquatic Ecology and Conservation, has received the Jack Christie/Ken Loftus Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions Toward Understanding Healthy Great Lakes Ecosystems by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

His colleague in Michigan State University’s (MSU) Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Commissioner Bill Taylor, presented Kruger with the award during the commission’s 61st annual meeting in Ottawa, Ontario, for “tirelessly engaging in efforts to improve the productivity and sustainability of Great Lakes fisheries.”

Krueger also is the Director of the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System.

The award, which the commission presents annually to those who have made major scientific contributions to Great Lakes ecosystems, honors the legacy of Jack Christie and Ken Loftus, two eminent fishery scientists from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

“Ten esteemed scientists from around the Great Lakes basin and beyond nominated Dr. Kruger for this prestigious award demonstrating that the level of admiration for Dr. Krueger and his scientific accomplishments is broad and deep,” said Taylor, Distinguished Professor in Global Fisheries Systems. “Dr. Krueger is known worldwide as an expert on a number of ecologically and socially important fish species such as lake trout, char, and ciscoes, and his work in understanding these and other species have resulted in scientifically based practical restoration plans that are now used to help restore historic genetic and morphotypic diversity needed for ecosystem stability.

“His research and management insights have resulted in the development of strategically-guided restoration planning, and, importantly, in the integration of science in decision making.”

Krueger also has advanced the application of fish stocking through widely cited management guidance publications and papers that evaluate genetic approaches to restoration. Additional groundbreaking research has included fish behavior, dynamics, ecological and genetic diversity, and phylogeny

Kruger has helped bring innovative fishery technology to the Great Lakes basin. He initiated and led the development of the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System, or GLATOS, a collaborative network, which launched an array of cutting-edge research on fish movements, behavior, and habitat use. He integrated GLATOS with regional, national, and international organizations, most notably the Ocean Tracking Network. Acoustic telemetry has changed the way we look at fish populations in the Great Lakes.

“The results have revealed information about Great Lakes fish ecology, which would not have been known without his leadership and vision,” Taylor said. “The GLATOS network, which continues to grow each year, is truly one of Dr. Krueger’s lasting legacies.”

Krueger was appointed to the commission by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and served two six-year terms. He also served as chair twice and as vice-chair. Shortly after he retired as commissioner, he became the commission’s science director, where he expanded the commission’s scientific advisory board, developed innovative research themes, and championed the integration of human dimension research with natural science research. He left the commission in 2013 to join the MSU faculty.

“Perhaps above all, Dr. Krueger is a mentor to the next generation of scientist. His former students are spread far and wide and many are leaders in their own right,” Taylor said.

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