As the new chief of the Michigan Department of Conservation’s Fish Division in 1964, Howard A. Tanner was challenged to “do something . . . spectacular.” He met that challenge by leading the successful introduction of coho salmon into the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. This volume illustrates how Tanner was able to accomplish this feat: from a detailed account of his personal and professional background that provided a foundation for success; the historical and contemporary context in which the Fish Division undertook this bold step to reorient the state’s fishery from commercial to sport; the challenges, such as resistance from existing government institutions and finding funding, that he and his colleagues faced; the risks they took by introducing a nonnative species; the surprises they experienced in the first season’s catch; to, finally, the success they achieved in establishing a world-renowned, biologically and financially beneficial sport fishery in the Great Lakes. Tanner provides an engaging history of successfully introducing Pacific salmon into the lakes from the perspective of an ultimate insider.
“The greatest fish story ever told! The successful introduction of Pacific Salmon into the Great Lakes is detailed in this incredible account by Howard A. Tanner. Tanner recalls formative early life events that eventually led him back to Michigan. Those experiences molded him into being the right person in the right place at the right time. Through his efforts and determination some fifty years ago so many now enjoy Something Spectacular, a world-class Great Lakes fishery.“
—DENNIS GRINOLD, Chair, U.S. Committee of Advisors to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission