Collaborative Research Projects

Minnesota Steelheader has partnered with the Minnesota DNR French River Management office and Section of Fisheries to foster and grow collaborative research projects. New projects that would otherwise be cost and labor prohibitive for Fisheries alone now utilize volunteer angler participation in State and Federally-recognized, award winning citizen-science programs. With your invaluable assistance, these projects further fisheries research, and advance fisheries as well as lake-wide ecosystem knowledge to provide the best fishery possible for YOU, and all the citizens of the State of Minnesota.

What We Do

Minnesota Steelheader provides a range of no-cost services for these projects because we recognize and value their importance; not to mention we enjoy the science and discovery they provide. Whether it is logo design & development, project branding, creating sample collection kits or species ID cards, technical paper warehousing, online publication or social media outreach, we are uniquely situated to fill that role. We are also doubly-blessed to be able to draw on the many incredible talents of a passionate, all-volunteer MNST team.

What We Ask Of You

Sign up, Get trained, Catch fish, Submit samples. How easy is that?!? Registered SGP and CGP anglers are issued scientific permits, and are trained to conduct specific types of tissue and scale sampling. This is after all serious science but, if you can peel a potato or use a scissors, you’ll sail through the, “take it when and where you are” training. It’s painless, we promise!

Being a registered P3 angler simply requires you to submit all the leftover parts you would normally toss. You keep the fillets, science gets the guts. If you fish Lake Superior, can clean a fish, bag the guts, and provide minimal catch documentation, P3 is your huckleberry. Current volunteer angler opportunities are available for both Genetic Projects and the Predator Prey Project. There are also opportunities to assist with stream and species population assessments. If you want to know, and we mean KNOW some North Shore secrets, jump on one of the stream assessment opportunities.

The links below provide more information about each project, available volunteer opportunities, and project research and analysis papers. MNST will keep each page updated as results come in.

The Predator Prey Project (P3) was initiated in winter 2020 to support a larger, lake wide analysis of fish diets (Status of Food Web Dynamics of Lake Superior Fishes in 2021; Sitar et al.). The objectives of the lake wide study (Sitar et al.) is to measure the diet compositions of all fishes in Lake Superior to report the current status of the food web.

This is an ongoing cooperative research project that utilizes trained volunteer angler participation to collect tissue samples from angler caught coaster brook trout in Minnesota waters of Lake Superior tributaries.

This is an ongoing cooperative research project that utilizes trained volunteer angler participation to collect scale samples from angler caught steelhead in Minnesota waters of Lake Superior tributaries.


Anglers who fish in the Ontario waters of Lake Superior that may be interested in helping to collect data and genetic samples from Brook Trout should reach out to our friend Kyle Stratton with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Kyle’s email and phone number are listed in this Genetic Sampling Overview document which details what they are looking for in terms of Brook Trout data and tissue sample collection. Kyle will send sampling kits to anglers expressing interest in helping out. Please email, call or text Kyle, Thank You!

Coaster genetic Project - Volunteer work

Did you know that your support and participation in these projects helps to train and give meaningful research opportunities to the next generation of fisheries biologists?