Paperback / softback
April 2, 2024
9 b&w illus., 2 maps
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$26.99 USD, £20.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Salmon Capital of Michigan

The Rise and Fall of a Great Lakes Fishery

Weaving together the stories and voices of residents, anglers, community leaders, and environmental workers and researchers, this ethnographic account details the lives and livelihoods impacted by a once-unrivaled Michigan salmon fishery. From the introduction of Chinook salmon to the Great Lakes in the late 1960s, a thriving recreational fishery industry arose in Northern Michigan, attracting thousands of anglers to small towns like Rogers City each week at its peak. By the early 2000s, a crisis loomed beneath the surface of Lake Huron as the population of a prey fish species called alewife unexpectedly collapsed, depleting the salmon's main source of food. By 2007, the salmon population had collapsed too, leaving local fisheries and their respective communities lacking a key commodity and a bid on fishery tourism. Author, angler, and ecologist Carson Prichard artfully incorporates fisheries science and local news media into an oral history that is entertaining, rich, and genuine. Complementing an ecological understanding of events, this narrative details the significance of the fishery and its loss as experienced by the townspeople whose lives it touched.

About the Author

Carson Prichard is an avid angler and outdoorsman. He received his PhD in earth and ecosystem science from Central Michigan University in 2018. His research in fisheries science, Great Lakes ecology, and the fish populations in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. Raised in Jenison, Michigan, Prichard now resides in Gainesville, Florida.


"Carson Prichard is the conductor of a symphony of voices in a groundbreaking oral history turned ethnography that explores the personal, scientific, and community dimensions of the Lake Huron alewife and Chinook salmon fisheries crashes. Exploring the humble beginnings of Rogers City to its rise and fall as 'The Salmon Capital,' Prichard's work is a reminder of the fragile ecosystems Homo sapiens inhabit and upon which they depend. The Salmon Capital of Michigan should be a staple read for fisheries managers and coastal community leaders, residents, researchers, and anglers."—Brittany Fremion, professor of environmental and oral history, Central Michigan University

"I have over thirty years of experience as a student and professional with Great Lakes ecosystem changes. What you don't learn from books or experience is how changes in the fisheries affect people in coastal communities. Carson Prichard captures the social and economic aspects of the Lake Huron fishery through his interviews with anglers, business owners, and community leaders."—Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

"Prichard provides the reader with a look back at a time when salmon fishing was all anyone could talk about within Great Lakes communities. The size of the fish and the numbers taken were truly astonishing! He does an exceptional job of capturing the essence of what it felt like to experience the dramatic rise as well as the sudden collapse of the fish that put port communities such as Rogers City on the map."—Scott McLennan, mayor, City of Rogers City

"The story of Lake Huron's sudden food web change is a cautionary tale for other Great Lakes. Carson Prichard takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the homes of those who witnessed the meteoric rise and decline of the Chinook salmon fishery in the 'Salmon Capital of Michigan.' But, at the end of the day, those who stayed in Rogers City continue to enjoy a new fishery, one with more diversity of species, and a wonderful part of the Great Lakes."—Titus Seilheimer, fisheries specialist, Wisconsin Sea Grant

9780814351130 : the-salmon-capital-of-michigan-prichard
Paperback / softback
April 2, 2024
$26.99 USD

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