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Fisheries managers will discuss Lake Michigan stocking policy

April 12, 2012 | 0 comments

This past fishing season proved to be a good one for Lake Michigan with more and bigger fish than in the previous year.

"The kings were bigger, the cohos were bigger, and there were plenty of fish to go around," said Daniel O'Keefe, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension educator.

However, the risk of fishery collapse is still possible.

"Stocking is one of the most influential tools managers have available for influencing the lake, but even stocking has a limited influence in a complex system dominated by exotic species," O'Keefe said.

The Quantitative Fisheries Center at MSU is working to identify possible outcomes under several different stocking policies.

The Lake Michigan Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will reach a decision in the fall of this year regarding the total number of salmon and trout to be stocked in Lake Michigan over the next several years.

Some possible stocking options for Lake Michigan trout and salmon will be addressed at a public meeting held at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, MI on April 14.

Fisheries managers from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin will speak about the risks associated with each stocking option and will ask for input. Visit the Michigan Sea Grant website for a full agenda and options for online participation.

Those interested in fisheries management and saving the Great Lakes should visit MSU Extension News at www.news.msue.msu.edu for more information.

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