Dan O’Keefe


Dr. Dan O’Keefe works with coastal communities and businesses in southwest Michigan to apply science-based knowledge to address Great Lakes and southern Lake Michigan issues. Much of Dan’s work focuses on fisheries management, lake and stream ecology, and invasive species prevention. His quarterly online newsletter, Fish Notes, includes news and events related to fish and fishery management in southern Lake Michigan. Dan’s district includes Mason, Oceana, Muskegon, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren, and Berrien counties.

  • Recreational fishing
  • Charter fishing
  • Citizen science
  • Fisheries management
  • Ph.D. Wildlife and Fisheries, Mississippi State University
  • M.S. Biology, Central Michigan University
  • B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
Professional experience
  • Designed and procured funding for research projects involving assessment of gamefish populations in south Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina, restoration and ecology of paddlefish in the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and distribution of redhorse suckers in Michigan streams.
  • Seven years of on-the-water experience working for universities and consultants sampling fish populations, zooplankton, and water quality.

Professional affiliations

  • Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, President-elect
  • Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, Michigan alternate representative
  • Lake Michigan Citizen’s Advisory Committee (MDNR), Michigan Sea Grant representative

Nordman, E., D. M. O’Keefe, and E. Arndt. 2016. Enhancing public engagement on offshore wind energy using genius loci: A case study from the Lake Michigan coast. The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice. 12(4):19-32.

O’Keefe D. M., D. L. Wesander, and C. Oh. 2015. Factors influencing charter fishing effort trends in Lake Huron. Fisheries. 40(5):214-221.

Lichktkoppler, F., D. M. O’Keefe, J. E. Lucente, and T. Gabriel. 2015. The Great Lakes charter fishing industry: 2002 to 2011. Fisheries 40(5):200-212.

Alford, J. B., D. M. O’Keefe, and D. C. Jackson.  2010.  Effects of stocking adult largemouth bass to enhance fisheries recovery in Pascagoula River floodplain lakes impacted by Hurricane Katrina.   Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 63(2009) 104-110. Article.

O’Keefe, D. M., and D. C. Jackson.  2009. Population characteristics of paddlefish in two Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway habitats. Pages 83-100 in C. P. Paukert and G. D. Scholten, editors. Paddlefish management, propagation, and conservation in the 21st century: building from 20 years of research and management.  American Fisheries Society, Symposium 66, Bethesda, Maryland. 443 pp.

Alford, J. B., D. M. O’Keefe, and D. C. Jackson.  2008. Developing a framework for fisheries restoration in the Pascagoula River Basin following Hurricane Katrina. Pages 201-218 in K. D. McLaughlin, editor. Mitigating impacts of natural hazards on fishery ecosystems.  American Fisheries Society, Symposium 64, Bethesda, Maryland. 446 pp.

O’Keefe, D. M., J. C. O’Keefe, and D. C. Jackson. 2007. Factors influencing paddlefish spawning in the Tombigbee watershed. Southeastern Naturalist 6(2):321-332. Abstract.

Dan O'Keefe

Dan O'Keefe

Senior Extension Educator, Southwest District

(616) 994-4580

Michigan Sea Grant Extension
12220 Fillmore Street, Suite 122
West Olive, MI 49460

Read about Dan’s work in his article series.

Dan O’Keefe knows that managing fisheries takes cooperation from partners who may not always see eye-to-eye. Read more about Dan’s efforts to unite stakeholders around shared challenges. 

This interview is part of a series of articles honoring Michigan Sea Grant Extension educators during the 2016 National Sea Grant College Program’s 50th anniversary celebration.