MARQUETTE - Other research grants awarded to Northern Michigan University in 2008-09 include one that will support the continued study of the Upper Peninsula's coaster brook trout.
The NMU Biology Department, under lead researcher Jill Leonard, received $375,000 from the National Park Service for a three-year study of coaster brook trout.
Leonard will be studying the affects of introduced species - such as steelhead and coho salmon - on coaster brook trout at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Three large coaster brook trout taken out of the Salmon Trout River are shown here. (Journal file photo by Dave Schneider)
"It's kind of a big deal because particularly the coasters are a subject of restoration," she said. "They were very abundant at a time, and they're certainly not very abundant anymore."
Leonard and her students will remove introduced species from 1.5 miles of a river in the national park and then compare native brook trout development to the development of coasters in rivers with introduced species.
"We're interested in how they respond in terms of population sizes, sizes of individual fish, movement patterns and diet analysis," Leonard said.
She said coaster brook trout is a native species of Lake Superior and there is great interest in restoring its numbers.