Georgian Bay and the North Channel, together with Saginaw Bay and the main body of the lake make up Lake Huron. In total surface area, this is the second largest of the Great Lakes.
Very little, however, has been published about the limnology and fisheries of these ecosystems with the exception of reports by the International Joint Commission (1977). Consequently, during the 27th Conference on Great Lakes Research (1984) at Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario, a one-day symposium, sponsored by the International Association for Great Lakes Research, was convened. The symposium, for the first time, dealt with much needed limnological, environmental, fisheries, and habitat information about these two ecosystems. The symposium consisted of 14 papers and attracted substantial attention. It was considered timely and successful and encouraged the editor to undertake the publication of this volume. Some of the papers included in the volume have been added later to complete the body of scientific information. An overview of the two ecosystems and a background description of the basins are provided, followed by the physical limnology of the Bay, a surficial sediment description, and geological and environmental significance of sediment distribution. Detailed chemistry of Georgian Bay and the North Channel has been undertaken.
The biological information is generally comprehensive and begins with the phycological and nutrient status of the embayments between Penetanguishene and Waubaushene in southern Georgian Bay. An in-depth treatment of phytoplankton productivity, species and size composition, and their ecology in the Bay and North Channel has been attempted. The composition of zooplankton, as well as normalized plankton biomass spectra for both the ecosystems, are discussed. The volume then deals with benthic macro-algae and attached filamentous algae with their biomonitoring potential. There is also a contribution on zooplankton feeding rates, about which very little is known.
Lastly, the volume deals with the structural changes in the fish community of Georgian Bay and the North Channel, and the application and effectiveness of the Sea Lamprey Control program. Other relevant information regarding benthos and contaminant burdens in fish, invertebrates and netplankton is reviewed including present concerns and developing issues.
"The book can be recommended not only to all readers interested in the Great Lakes region but also to all limnologists, especially to those studying aquatic ecosystems on a broad scale."
– Internationale Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie, 75(1), 1990