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DNR gives update on Lake Michigan management

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were in Green Bay Tuesday, Sept. 3, to give the public an update on efforts to manage the Lake Michigan fishery to ensure continued opportunities for anglers to catch fish.

Brad Eggold, DNR Great Lakes fisheries supervisor, was on hand at the two-hour meeting at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to follow up on the informational meeting held earlier this summer.

This was one of two meetings held in the state this week, the other at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sept. 4.

Lake Michigan is the largest freshwater lake entirely within the United States – and the fifth largest in the world.

The Lake Michigan salmon and trout fishery is a matter of large importance for many in the state, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity each year.

Dozens gathered at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to get an update from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Lake Michigan management stocking options Tuesday, Sept. 3. Heather Graves Photo

Stakeholders from all over the state attended Tuesday’s meeting to get a look at what the DNR has planned for preliminary stocking options over the next couple of years.

Eggold said the work to manage Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan fishery is an ongoing process – as it continues to guide its 2020-23 Lake Michigan salmon and trout stocking program.

DNR representatives gave a brief presentation showing the current projections for brown trout, chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, lake and rainbow trout stocking options.

For 2020, the presented DNR plan includes stocking one million chinook, 376,000 brown trout, 400,000 coho, 350,000 steelhead, 300,000 lake trout and 100,000 Arlee strain rainbow trout in Wisconsin waters.

Two options were presented for 2021.

The first would see an increase to chinook, the same as 2020 for coho, steelhead, rainbow and brown trout with a decrease in lake trout.

Option two would see increases in chinook, coho and brown trout with a decrease in rainbow and lake trout.
While many agreed that increases were needed, the majority didn’t think the increases were high enough.

“That is why we are laying out multiple options,” Eggold said.

Eggold said these options are just that, options, and the DNR is open to other ideas and comments.

Those thoughts can be sent to Brad Eggold, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204, or via email to [email protected] until Sept. 30.

Eggold said DNR staff greatly appreciate the collaborative efforts of all Lake Michigan stakeholders.

A final decision on stocking options will be made by October or November.

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