Don’t worry, though; it’s for all the right reasons.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is suspending its stocking efforts in Lake Superior. If you are following along with some of my other articles here, you know about the stocking cuts the DNR has been making in Michigan. This time, it isn’t because they are concerned about the alewife population or maintaining a balance: turns out they don’t need to keep up their stocking efforts, as the Chinook salmon are now self-sustaining in Lake Superior.
This is a great success for anglers and the DNR in Michigan. Using surveys that started in 2012 it has been determined that 99 percent of the Chinook Salmon caught in Lake Superior are wild and natural reproducing fish. The Michigan DNR clips the adipose fin of the stocked salmon so they can compare them to the wild fish with the fin.
Obviously, this means that the fish stocking efforts and funds can now be redirected to other efforts in the state. Being a Michigan native myself, I think it would be great if they stocked more walleye in Lake Michigan; just a suggestion.
Upon presenting this information the Michigan DNR received nothing but agreement and support. Some of the committees associated include the Lake Superior Citizens Fishery Advisory Committee, The South Shore Fishing Association, the Central Upper Peninsula Sport Fishing Association, the Upper Peninsula Sportsman Alliance, and the Upper Peninsula Sportfisherman’s Association.
I think it’s great to see my fishing license dollars at work and be successful. This success is also shared by other states and Canada that work in cooperation with Michigan’s salmon stocking efforts. Wisconsin, Ontario, and Minnesota have also confirmed a predominance of wild caught fish.