Tag Archives: Fishing News

Spring workshops offer current research on status of Lake Huron fishery

April 20, 2012
Contact: Todd Grischke, 517-373-6762 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014

Spring workshops offer current research on status of Lake Huron fishery
The Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, USGS Great Lakes Science Center and local fishery organizations, will be participating in three regional workshops this spring highlighting research and information about Lake Huron’s fishery.

Workshops are open to the public, and will provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals and other community members interested in attending. Topics include status updates on Lake Huron fish populations and angler catch data, resurgence of native species such as Lake Huron walleye, forage fish surveys and results from the ongoing Lake Huron predator diet study, updates of fisheries management activities, among other Lake Huron related topics of local interest.
2012 Lake Huron fishery workshop dates and locations include:

Monday, April 23 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Les Cheneaux Sportsman’s Club located at M-134 in Cedarville

Tuesday, April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.
NOAA Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center located at 500 W. Fletcher Street in Alpena
Port Huron

Wednesday, May 9 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Charles A. Hammond American Legion Hall at 1026 Sixth Street in Port Huron
Workshops are open to the public at no cost to participants; however, pre-registration is requested. To register for any of these no-cost workshops, contact Cindy Anderson, Michigan Sea Grant/MSU Extension Iosco County at (989) 984-1060 or ande1172@msu.edu. For program information or questions, contact Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant at (989) 984-1056 or schroe45@msu.edu.
Workshop registration and details are available online on the Michigan Sea Grant website: http://miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries/fishery-workshop.html.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr. Continue reading

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Stocking of salmon could be slashed in Michigan


Grand Rapids, Mich. — Michigan fish managers are facing a frightening scenario on Lake Michigan: too few prey fish to sustain the salmon population at current stocking levels.

The solutions, they say, involve cutting the number of hatchery plants. The Michigan DNR and other managers from around the lake are inviting anglers to have a say in the outcome.

A public workshop on the topic is scheduled for April 14 at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. The choices being presented are the consensus of a multi-state working group.

The options, whittled down from a field of 25 choices, call for reducing chinook salmon stocking by 30 to 50 percent, and decisions about whether to reduce stocking for species like lake trout, steelhead, brown trout, and coho salmon. Lake Michigan officials say they were looking for choices that would not decimate the forage base or result in smaller or fewer fish.

Lake Michigan is stocked annually with 2.5 million chinook (king) salmon fingerlings. They feed exclusively on alewives – unlike steelhead, coho salmon, and brown trout, which feed on various prey. If the alewives disappear, so do the big kings.

“We started the process a year ago. It does come with some anxiety,” said Denny Grinold, a Lake Michigan fishing charter captain from Grand Haven who represented the Michigan Charter Boat Association on the Lake Michigan fishery work group. Grinold also chairs the committee of advisors for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
“We just came off a really good year in Lake Michigan,” Grinold told Michigan Outdoor News. “But if you go back to 2003 on Lake Huron, they had the largest prey population in the history of that assessment and in 2004 Lake Huron collapsed.”

Lake Michigan forage is at an all-time low, according to state and federal fish managers who have conducted surveys on the lake. It is home to a robust alewife year-class from 2010 and five other age classes that contribute little to the forage base. No new forge showed up in 2011. State officials say they’re hoping to see a new year-class develop in 2012.

An acoustic survey of Lake Michigan prey fish last year found approximately 25 kilotons, according to state officials. That’s 76 percent less than 2010 and 84 percent less than the 20-year, long-term average. Lake Michigan fish managers would prefer to see 100 kilotons or more.

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Lake Erie Committee Recommends Walleye and Yellow Perch Catch Levels for 2012

WINDSOR, ON – The Lake Erie Committee, a binational board of fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, and Pennsylvania, recommended a 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) of 3.487 million walleye and 13.637 million pounds of yellow perch1. These recommended harvest levels represent an increase in allowable walleye and yellow perch catch for 2012 over last year, reflecting updated stock assessment results. Extensive biological assessments and analyses—conducted and analyzed jointly by Canadian and American fishery agencies—inform these TAC recommendations. The committee also engaged commercial and recreational stakeholders in a new and enhanced committee structure—called the Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group (LEPMAG)—to heighten awareness of stakeholder fishery objectives, to gain consensus about decisions, and to improve the process for binational dialogue among all interested parties.

The committee sought to maintain TACs at levels consistent with Lake Erie’s biological conditions while providing commercial and recreational fishers with some level of stability, as indicated in LEPMAG discussions. However, the committee is concerned about environmental conditions in Lake Erie and potential impacts on fisheries in future years. The heightened stakeholder engagement reflects the committee’s interest in involving the fishing community in discussions related to management of the lake’s percid fisheries. Continue reading

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April 14, 2012 The Future of Salmon and Trout Stocking in Lake Michigan

The Future of Salmon and Trout Stocking in Lake Michigan

Five species of salmon and trout support a world-class recreational fishery in Lake Michigan. Stocking has played an important role in maintaining the balance between predators and baitfish, such as the non-native alewife, since the late 1960s. If too many salmon and trout are in the lake, baitfish decline and salmon starve or fall prey to disease. If too few salmon and trout are in the lake, the non-native alewife could foul beaches and affect native species.

Ongoing research is being used to investigate the possibility that changes to stocking policy could improve fisheries and limit the risk of predator-prey imbalance. Fisheries managers in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana will set a stocking policy for Lake Michigan salmon and trout by fall of 2012.

Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Workshop
Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Saturday, April 14, 2012
1:00–4:30 PM (Eastern)

To register please visit http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries/stocking/ Continue reading

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Top court rejects states’ appeal on Great Lakes carp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by five states seeking an order requiring that a range of steps be taken to keep the invading Asian carp out of the Great Lakes where they are considered a threat to fisheries.

The high court refused to hear an appeal by Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin after the states lost their bid for a preliminary injunction that would have required additional efforts to stop the migration of the voracious carp into the lakes.

The carp have taken over stretches of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago area waterway system already have adopted a number of measures to block the advance of the carp into Lake Michigan.

The states have argued that two species, the Bighead and Silver carp, pose a severe threat to the Great Lakes’ $7 billion fisheries. The carp can spread rapidly, crowding out other native fish species.

A federal judge and a U.S. appeals court in Chicago denied the request for a preliminary injunction that would have required additional physical barriers in the Chicago area waterways, new procedures to stop the carp and the speeding up of a study on how to devise a permanent solution to the problem.
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Public Comments on Cormorant Damage Management

Larry Meier, Cormorant Citizen Advisor
2704 East West Branch
Prudenville, MI 48651

I have received several comments since I sent the draft cormorant letter to everyone on the mailing list concerning the 2003 Final Environmental Impact Statement: Double-Crested Cormorant Management in the United States. This Environmental Impact Statement provides the authority to the states to manage cormorant damage and the regulations are due to be revised. The Department of Natural Resources supports continuing the current cormorant management program but with modifications which would incorporate a regional approach. All the comments that I received were supportive of the draft letter that I proposed sending to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The letter supports the Department of Natural Resources’ position of expanding the current cormorant management approach to include a regional approach. The letter that I submitted from the Committee is attached and can also be viewed on the government website as described below.

As we all know, cormorant control in Michigan is vital for the management of the fisheries throughout the State so it is imperative that we provide as many comments as possible to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that the program continues. I am encouraging organizations and individuals to submit a letter either through the federal website or by regular mail as described below. Even a short letter supporting the Department and asking for base federal funding for the cormorant management program would be very helpful. Currently, cormorant control is critical to many fisheries around the State including: Les Cheneaux Islands, Bay de Noc, Thunder Bay, Beaver Islands, Ludington Pump Storage Project, Lake George, Nubinway Island, Paquin Island, Isle aux Galets, Bellow Island, St Mary’s River, Tahquamenon Island, South Manitou Continue reading

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By Capt. Terry R. Walsh

The Michigan Charter Boat Association celebrated 40 Years of Excellence at its Annual Conference held the third weekend of October at the Doubletree Hotel in Holland, MI.  Well over 100 captains and their wives, first mates, dignitaries, congress representatives, state fisheries biologists, the United States Coast Guard and special presenters were all part of the gala event.  Several long-time MCBA members said, ìIt was the best attended, most educational, and informative conference we have ever attended.

After an appreciated welcome to a packed conference room, President Terry Walsh turned the Saturday morning meeting over to Dr. Dan O’Keefe, Southwest District Extension Educator, who would act as the dayís moderator.

The morning’s first speaker was Jay Wesley, Acting Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator from the Department of Natural Resources.Lake Michigan had a great 2010 year class of alewife with a high survival rate that produced the most exciting Chinook salmon fishery we’ve seen in many years, Wesley said.  The fish were much larger than in previous years.  Twenty-pound salmon were pretty common last summer, and I think we can expect similar results in 2012. Wesley added that the angler catch per excursion was nearly six salmon.

The Coho salmon and brown trout fisheries were a pleasant surprise, according to Wesley, who said, They showed up in good numbers in angler catches.  And again, like the Chinook, they were much larger than in previous years.  One Coho tipped the certified scales at 29-pounds! Continue reading

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Lake Michigan crews give coho, Chinook a hand to spawn success

The urge to procreate happens like clockwork and when the water reaches the right temperature, the Root River turns into a salmon singles’ bar each fall.

But to have a healthy population of coho and Chinook in Lake Michigan, the fish need a helping hand to hook up. That’s why a group of Department of Natural Resources employees dressed in chest waders, rubber boots and gloves worked quickly this week to scoop up coho salmon at the Root River Steelhead Facility, siphon eggs and sperm and mix the two together in plastic buckets destined for a fish hatchery.

The coho will be raised until they’re yearling size and then dumped in Lake Michigan destined for fish hooks wielded by Wisconsin anglers in 2013.

These are booming times for Lake Michigan’s salmon.

“It was a good year for coho. It was probably the longest and most sustained coho we’ve had in decades,” said Brad Eggold, DNR fisheries supervisor for the southern half of Lake Michigan.

Chinook salmon are also robust. Among the reasons for a healthy population is an abundance of forage fish like alewives that salmon snacked on last year and this year, growing big and fat.

Salmon are not native to Lake Michigan but were introduced half a century ago as a predator to alewives when the alewife population exploded; they’re now a popular fish among anglers. Continue reading

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Invasive Species on the Move: the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins

On Interstate 80/90 in Ohio there is a small, unassuming sign that indicates you have crossed the line that divides the Great Lakes basin and the Mississippi River basin.
Keeping these two watersheds separate is important for the health of both water systems, but that dividing line is not stopping water and fish from moving between the basins.
The Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) indicates that a water exchange between basins (hydrological risk) could occur through wetlands, ancient portage routes, rivers and streams during high water events or floods. This could allow non-native organisms, known as Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) to displace native species and degrade native habitats.

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Research buoy testing winds in the middle of Lake Michigan

An eight ton research buoy is out gathering wind data in Lake Michigan. The one-point-three million-dollar buoy launched in Muskegon today (Friday) will collect detailed wind data over the next ten years. Chris Hart is an Offshore Wind Manager at … Continue reading

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