Saving The Great Lakes

I contacted Susie Q Fish Market in Two Rivers, WI with a vague idea. I wanted to photograph one of the last commercial fishing operation left on The Great Lakes. At first they needed to make sure I knew what this meant. Fishing Lake Michigan, or The Great Lakes in general is not for everyone. It's long hours, hard work, big waves, and very dangerous. Combine all of that with some of the coldest temperatures on record. I'm sure you'll all remember the Polar Vortex that hit us in January, well it turns out that to catch Chubbs(one of the remaining options for commercial fishing) you need to go out at the coldest time of year. Once they knew I wasn't going away that easy then said "Come on up!". The next thing I knew I was staying in a little hotel outside of Two Rivers, it was 2:00am and I was so excited to get out onto the boat that I couldn't sleep. I had to be out the door at about 4:00am to be there at the start of the day. As soon I pulled up I realized this was not going to be an easy day.

That's when I met Dale. It turns out Susie Q wasn't actually going out for commercial fishing. They had teamed up with The Department of Fish and Wildlife to try and revive a species extinct from Lake Ontario. Chubb's had been choked out of their natural habitat in many areas by invasive species and Lake Michigan is one of the best and last places to still catch them. Dale and his team of biologists and ecologists have a very important goal for the day. They need to catch and harvest as many eggs and sperm as possible to repopulate Lake Ontario. I just happened to be there at the right time to capture it all.

As it turns out, I'm not the only one interested in this story either. Since that day I have been contacted by the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources to team up on the documentary. So while we work out all of those details I can't share the entire project, but I'm happy to share these images from the day.

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