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U.S. Geological Survey - Great Lakes Science Center

James H. Johnson


Branch Chief Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Sciences Email: Phone: (607) 753-9391 ext. 7530 Fax: (607) 753-0259 Professional Page:


B.S. (Fisheries Management), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1973
M.S. (Fisheries Science), State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry-Syracuse, 1978
Ph.D. (Fisheries Science), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry-Syracuse, 1993

Current Studies

Restoration of Lower Great Lakes Fish Communities

Anthropogenic activities have greatly impacted fish populations in the Great Lakes. Of all the Great Lakes, fish populations in Lake Ontario have been impacted the most severely, including the extirpation of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) and deepwater coregonids such as bloater (Coregonus hoyi) and major declines in lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis), lake herring (C. artedi) and American eel (Anguilla rostrata). Loss of spawning habitat and perhaps overfishing are thought to be the major causes for the loss of Atlantic salmon and lake sturgeon, whereas invasive species such as alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordox) are considered to have led to the decline of coregonids, and deepwater sculpin. Because of the complexities associated with the extirpation or decline of native fish species in the Great Lakes there is no single remedy suitable for the restoration of all species. The restoration of deepwater coregonids, as well as extirpated Atlantic salmon, must at least initially rely on hatchery reared fish.

Principal Investigator: Jim H. Johnson
Diet and Fish Consumption of Double-Crested Cormorants in Eastern Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River

The objectives of this study are to (1) determine the annual diet composition of double-crested cormorants in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, (2) estimate the number of fish consumed annually by cormorants in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of different management actions in reducing fish consumption.

Principal Investigator: James H. Johnson

Recent Publications

James H. Johnson, Marc A. Chalupnicki, Ross Abbett, Avriel R. Diaz, and Chris Nack 2017. Comparative Diel Feeding Ecology of Brook Silverside, Golden Shiner, and Subyearling Pumpkinseed in a Lake Ontario Embayment During Summer. Scientific Journals . Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management .
Contribution #2100
James H. Johnson, Ross Abbett, Marc A. Chalupnicki, and Francis Verdoliva 2016. Seasonal habitat use of brook trout and juvenile steelhead in a Lake Ontario tributary. Taylor & Francis . Journal of Freshwater Ecology . 31 (2). 239-249.
Contribution #1996
Marc A. Chalupnicki and James H. Johnson 2016. Diel diet of fantail darter in a tributary to Lake Ontario, New York, USA. Taylor & Francis . Journal of Freshwater Ecology . 31 (4). 659-664.
Contribution #2043
James H. Johnson and Neil H. Ringler 2016. Comparative diets of subyearling Atlantic salmon and subyearling coho salmon in Lake Ontario tributaries. Elsevier . Journal of Great Lakes Research . 42 (4). 854-860.
Contribution #2051
James H. Johnson, Marc A. Chalupnicki, and Ross Abbett 2016. Feeding periodicity, diet composition, and food consumption of subyearling rainbow trout in winter. Springer . Environmental Biology of Fishes .
Contribution #2077

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