Ron Kinnunen


Ron Kinnunen works with coastal communities and businesses in the Upper Peninsula to apply science-based knowledge to address Great Lakes and Lake Superior, northern Lake Michigan, and northern Lake Huron issues. His district includes Baraga, Chippewa, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Delta, Menominee, and Ontonagon counties.

One of Ron’s primary focus areas is the commercial fishing industry. To that end, he:

  • Works with state and tribal commercial fishermen to foster cooperation and promote understanding of state and federal regulations.
  • Trains fish processing enterprises to meet the requirements of the federal hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) food safety law.
  • Works with baitfish and aquaculture industries and government management agencies to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species by using a HACCP approach.
  • Promotes aquaculture in Michigan by serving on state and regional committees and serving as a consultant to aquaculture enterprises.

Ron also works to promote water safety in the Upper Peninsula and assists local communities in designating areas of historic shipwrecks and other significant underwater features.

  • Ph.D., Michigan Technological University
  • M.S., Michigan State University
  • B.S., Michigan State University
Professional experience
  • Upper Peninsula Sea Grant Extension agent, 1981-present
  • Acting Alger County Michigan State University Extension Director, 1988-89
  • Fisheries Pathologist, Rangen Research Laboratory, Hagerman, Idaho, 1980-81
  • Fisheries Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Leetown, West Virginia, 1979-80
  • Fagan, K.-A., M.A. Koops, M.T. Arts, T.M. Sutton, R.E. Kinnunen, A.M. Muir, M. Power. 2017. Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) energy and nutrient partitioning in lakes Michigan, Erie and Superior. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 43:144-154.
  • Xiang, X., Long, F., Narkar, A., Kinnunen, R. E., Shahbazian-Yassar, R., Lee, B. P. and Heiden, P. A. (2015), Is there value in chemical modification of fish scale surfaces?. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 133, 42868, doi: 10.1002/app.42868
  • Moths. M.D., J.A. Dellinger, B. Holub, M.P. Ripley, J.E. McGraw, R.E. Kinnunen. 2012. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish from the Laurentian Great Lakes Tribal Fisheries. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, DOI:10.1080/10807039.2012.759474
  • Meadows, G., H. Purcell, D. Guenther, L. Meadows, R.E. Kinnunen, and G. Clark.  2011. Rip Currents in the Great Lakes: An Unfortunate Truth. Rip Currents: Beach Safety, Physical Oceanography, and Wave Modeling, S. Leatherman and J. Fletemeyer, Eds., CRC Press, 199-214.
  • Blukacz, E.A., M.A. Koops, T.M. Sutton, M.T. Arts, J.D. Fitzsimons, A.M. Muir, R.M. Claramunt, T.B. Johnson, R.E. Kinnunen, M.P. Ebener, C. Suski, G. Burness. 2010. Linking lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) condition with male gamete quality and quantity. Journal of Great Lakes Research 36:78–83.
  • Muir, A.M., T.M. Sutton, M.T. Arts, R.M. Claramunt, M.P. Ebener, J.D. Fitzsimons, T.B. Johnson, R.E. Kinnunen, M.A. Koops, and M.M. Sepulveda. 2010. Does condition of lake whitefish spawners affect physiological condition of juveniles? Journal of Great Lakes Research 36:92-99.
  • Summerfelt, R.C., R.D. Clayton, J.A. Johnson, R.E. Kinnunen. 2010. Production of walleye as potential food fish. North Central Regional Aquaculture Center Fact Sheet #116. NCRAC Publications Office, Iowa State University, Ames.
  • Stockwell, J.D., M.P. Ebener, J.A. Black, O.T. Gorman, T.R. Hrabik, R.E. Kinnunen, W.P. Mattes, J.K. Oyadomari, S.T. Schram, D.R. Schreiner, M.J. Seider, S.P. Sitar, D.L. Yule. 2009. A synthesis of cisco recovery in Lake Superior: Implications for native fish rehabilitation in the Laurentian Great Lakes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 29:626-652.
  • Jacks, S., S. Sharon, R.E. Kinnunen, D.K. Britton, D. Jensen, and S.S. Smith. 2009. Controlling the spread of invasive species while sampling. Pages 217-222 in S.A. Bonar, W.A. Hubert, and D.W. Willis, editors. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Ebener, M.P., R.E. Kinnunen, L.C. Mohr, P.J. Schneeberger, J.A. Hoyle, and P. Peeters. 2008. Management of commercial fisheries for lake whitefish in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Pages 99–143 in M. G. Schechter, W. W. Taylor, and N. J. Leonard, editors. International governance of fisheries ecosystems: Learning from the past, finding solutions for the future. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 62, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Muir, A.M., T.M. Sutton, P.J. Peeters, R.M. Claramunt, R.E. Kinnunen. 2008. An Evaluation of Age Estimation Structures for Lake Whitefish in Lake Michigan: Selecting an Aging Method Based on Precision and a Decision Analysis. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1928–1940.
  • Kinnunen, R.E., M.C. Gould, and P. Cambier. 2005. Composting commercial fish processing waste from fish caught in the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. Michigan State University Technical Bulletin. 40 pgs.
  • Pangle, K. L., T. M. Sutton, R. E. Kinnunen, and M. H. Hoff. 2005. Effects of body size, condition, and lipid content on the survival of juvenile lake herring during rapid cooling events. Journal of Great Lakes Research 31:360-366.
  • Pangle, K.L., T.M. Sutton, R.E. Kinnunen, M.H. Hoff. 2004. Overwinter survival of juvenile lake herring in relation to body size, physiological condition, energy stores, and food ration. Trans. Am. Fish Soc. Vol. 133 (5): 1235-1246.
  • Hinshaw, J.M., G. Fornshell, R.E. Kinnunen. 2004. A profile of the aquaculture of trout in the United States. Report for USDA Risk Management Agency, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, through Mississippi State University. 46 pgs.
  • Kinnunen, R.E., editor. 2002. Environmental Strategies for Aquaculture Symposium Proceedings (December 2000). 62nd Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Minneapolis, MN.  NCRAC CD Series #101, NCRAC Publications Office, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.
  • Gunderson, J.L. and R.E. Kinnunen. 2001. Aquatic nuisance species-Hazard analysis and critical control point training curriculum. Michigan Sea Grant Publication No. MSG-00-400.
  • Kinnunen, R.E.  2000. A white paper on the status and needs of salmonid aquaculture in the North Central Region. North Central Regional Aquaculture Center. Michigan State University.
  • Kinnunen, R.E. 1996. Walleye fingerling culture in undrainable ponds. Pages 135-145 in R.C. Summerfelt, editor. Walleye culture manual. NCRAC Culture Series #101, NCRAC Publications Office, Iowa State University, Ames.
Ron Kinnunen

Ron Kinnunen

On-Call, retired Extension educator

Michigan Sea Grant
Michigan State University
(906) 250-0459

Read about Ron’s work in his article series.

Ron Kinnunen is collaborating on a project to explore an Aquatic Invasive Species — Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (AIS-HACCP) verification program for industries that are often threatened with new and costly regulations because of AIS. Read more about how his work helps ensure safety on our beaches and in our kitchens

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.