Lake Michigan fishery to get attention

Posted at 10:20 a.m. on December 6, 2019 The Brillion News MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released a new Lake Michigan fish stocking plan, which it believes will enhance fishing success and opportunities for all Lake Michigan anglers, while sustaining a balanced and vibrant fisheries community. The DNR’s Deputy Director of Fisheries Management, Todd Kalish, said that the big lake is home to a world-class fishery, and there are anglers, businesses, stakeholder groups and communities that have a deep commitment to developing management strategies that will benefit this fishery for current and future generations. DNR fisheries staff this year conducted an open and inclusive process to gather input on management options for the Lake Michigan fishery. For 2020, 2021 and 2022, chinook salmon stocking numbers will increase to 1,200,000 fish annually, coho stocking will increase to 500,000 annually, steelhead stocking will increase to 460,000 fish annually and brown trout, a popular fish, caught off piers and in harbors, will increase to 450,000 fish annually. Fisheries managers will assess potential changes to stocking numbers for 2023 and beyond based on traditional and new data and metrics collected and evaluated in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The DNR will also begin the development of a Lake Michigan brook trout stocking initiative in 2020. Brook trout are a revered native species that could produce critical near-shore angling opportunities. “We are excited to work with stakeholders to pursue reestablishing this native species to enhance angler opportunities and experiences,” Kalish said.

In addition to the 2020-2022 stocking plan, department staff, in collaboration with charter, commercial and sport fishers, plan to: > expand salmon and trout net pen projects to maximize the survivability of stocked fish; > develop and implement innovative public/private data collection initiatives to better inform future management strategies; > enhance outreach and communication by more actively engaging stakeholders in communication initiatives; increase and enhance diverse marketing and outreach strategies; and pursue salmon and trout habitat enhancement projects. A complete report will be featured in the December 12 print edition of The Brillion News. ~ Source: Wisconsin DNR

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