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MI DNR proposes to increase salmon stocking - Sep 19th 7:00pm Zoom Call

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The information below came through on my feed:  [email protected]

After decades of fish stocking decreases to balance the alewife and Chinook salmon populations, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeing good indicators that a modest stocking increase may be warranted in Lake Michigan.

To discuss this proposal and receive public feedback, the DNR will host a virtual meeting Monday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“We have seen several years of good Chinook salmon growth and have a slight increase in the alewife biomass, or abundance of those fish,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR's Lake Michigan basin coordinator. “Although the alewife biomass is a fraction of what it was historically, we have a good 2021-year class and have seen up to six-year classes of alewives in our fisheries surveys – that means there are up to six different age groups in the current population of alewife."

A "year class" refers to all of the fish of any species hatched, either through natural reproduction or through fish-rearing efforts, during that year's spawning period.

Wesley said that a recently run predator-prey model also suggests that Lake Michigan has a good ratio of Chinook to alewife biomass, which is one of many indicators used to inform stocking decisions.

“The proposed 54% increase from 650,000 to 1 million spring fingerlings is a modest increase compared to the estimated 4.5 million wild Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan,” said Wesley. “It will allow us to increase numbers at sites like Charlevoix that contribute to the entire lake fishery and reinstate stocking sites like Ludington State Park and Fairport.”

Meeting details

Michigan Sea Grant will assist with the Zoom meeting:

  • Save the date: Monday, Sept. 19, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Passcode: 2022
  • Or join via telephone: 646-876-9923 or 301-715-8592
  • Webinar ID: 994 1124 7153
  • Questions? Contact Jay Wesley

LINK BELOW - or Google 'MI DNR proposes to increase salmon stocking'


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This makes me nervous, as I don't want a repeat of those lean years where a big, mature fish was 12 pounds. But, I think the state has a good handle on what they are doing, so fingers crossed. It will be great to get some stocking in ports further south that used to produce great salmon runs.

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Increase seems reasonable.  I they should run with these new numbers for at least 5 years before making changes.  Hard to pull numbers out of the lake once they're swimming.

From what I understand, the recreational and charter fleets don't pull enough fish out to really make a difference.

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I like it and don't like it at the same time. I'm glad we're getting a bump but by the sounds of it they're all going up north and it's the southern ports that need it the most. Jay Wesley also said when I asked him about the southern ports that they're no longer planting Holland moving forward due to predation from walleye and musky plants.

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