Together with Giigoonyag Fishes Project Logo

Together with Giigoonyag is a five-year research project focused on changes in the Lake Huron ecosystem. With a particular focus on dikameg decline, research is being conducted into habitat use, spawning shoals, recruitment, population dynamics, and interactions with other species in the food web.

The Two Eyed Seeing Approach to studying Lake Huron’s fish populations generates opportunities for mutual learning, addresses gaps in understanding, increases the information available for decision making processes and helps to foster collaborative and respectful relationships.
SON community members possess a wealth of multi-generational knowledge and understandings of Lake Huron’s ecosystem and fish populations within the SON traditional waters, which encompass a large region of Lake Huron. The Two-Eyed Seeing Approach is most effective at a local scale where SON’s ecological knowledge of the water and the land have been passed down through generations. Knowledge holders in SON communities will be sharing their knowledge through interviews and mapping, while researchers will be undertaking a quantitative analysis of fisheries data.

The SON community, as well as research scientists within the Great Lakes have identified a knowledge gap in relation to dikameg movement and behaviour. To learn more about dikameg movement and behavior, the Together with Giigoonyag project will be developing of an acoustic telemetry array for Lake Huron.

The project partners (SON, NDMNRF and PCA) have begun to tag dikameg with acoustic transmitters and have begun to place of receivers within Lake Huron. Transmitters are electronic tags that broadcast a series of “pings” (sound pulses) into the surrounding water. These tags will be surgically implanted into fish of interest and released back into the wild. Listening stations (receivers) are placed on the bottom of the lake at various locations to “listen” for tagged fish as they swim by. The receivers are periodically retrieved and the information they have recorded is downloaded for further analysis. This is the first time that an acoustic telemetry project of this scale is undertaken in Lake Huron.

The project’s research is being done in ethical space, using a framework to ensure that each knowledge system is respected and valued equally.

“The Together with Giigoonyag research initiative will not only provide invaluable information about dikameg but will also further our collective goal of building mutually respectful relationships. This is an exciting time for all involved and we look forward to sharing updates and findings as the project progresses.

Ogimaa Lester Anoquot, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation
Ogimaakwe Veronica Smith, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation




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