As an avid angler and staunch supporter of recreational angling opportunities, my research interests focus on the conservation of sport fisheries. Recreational angling not only boasts significant economic merit, but also aesthetic, spiritual, and cultural value. However, preserving this activity for generations to come relies on sound, science-based management. My goal is to bring knowledge I have gained through experience to guide management practices.
Prior research includes: evaluating the sub-lethal and lethal impacts of specialized catch-and-release angling on muskellunge, one of North America's largest and most elusive game fish species; determining the effects of acute temperature change on largemouth and smallmouth bass egg and fry survival, which has garnered much interest from fish hatchery personnel in an effort to refine rearing efficiency; and the behavioral ecology of muskellunge evaluated using novel acoustic transmitters equipped with activity and depth sensors. I have a keen interest in the use of telemetry devices to follow our finned friends through their liquid worlds and relish any opportunity to use biotelemetry to address management issues. Finally, I feel strongly about bridging the communication gap between researchers and the public. To help fulfill this goal, I am a frequent public speaker and writer for outdoor publications, welcoming opportunities to do both and to interact with the public.
Currently, I am a Fisheries Research Scientist assisting biologists with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Lake Michigan Program to research and manage Lake Michigan fisheries, such as lake trout and Chinook salmon. Many of our projects include multi-agency collaboration, as well as angler involvement to improve Lake Michigan fisheries.