The state of Michigan will stock 46% less Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan in 2017 than it did in 2016.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is following recommendations of the Lake Michigan Committee to ease predation pressure on prey, namely alewives.
"We appreciate the robust engagement Michigan citizens brought to this issue," said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. "They learned more about the difficulty managing Lake Michigan, and we learned more about their fishing preferences. In the end, we will still meet our biological goal to reduce predation pressure and continue to provide a world-class fishery."
The DNR says Michigan will stock 300,000 Chinook salmon in 2017. The state will also cease federally stocked lake trout in Grand Haven, Holland, and New Buffalo in 2018.
According to the DNR, the state will continue to stock 1.57 million Coho salmon, 580,000 steelhead and 550,000 brown trout.
The is the fourth major stocking adjustment in Lake Michigan to ease predation of prey since 1999.
Throughout the summer, the Lake Michigan Committee worked with anglers and citizens on the measure. Initially, the proposal only included a reduction in Chinook stocking, the DNR says. As a result, a mix of species were reduced to achieve a similar predator reduction.
The altered proposal acknowledges the importance of Chinook salmon in the sportfishing industry.
All state management agencies that border Lake Michigan and the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority make up the Lake Michigan Committee.
The DNR says that the majority of stocking adjustments will take place in other states.