Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Workshop Findings

During 2012, a stakeholder group representing fishing and conservation organizations throughout the Lake Michigan Basin deliberated over the current conditions of the Lake Michigan fishery. A Structured Decision Analysis Model, which was developed by Michigan State University, was used to evaluate the risk of collapsing the alewife population and to develop various stocking options that would maintain a diverse fishery in Lake Michigan.

Prey abundance, primarily alewife, are at historic lows giving concern to anglers and biologists that there may not be enough prey to sustain the current salmon populations. Lake Michigan's potential to sustain high prey abundance has decreased significantly with the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels. Also, natural reproduction may be sustaining high Chinook salmon populations despite stocking reductions in 1999 and 2006.

The stocking strategies that are proposed include policies that evaluate stocking changes every five years to more frequent evaluations. The options for stocking propose immediate stocking reductions in Chinook salmon by 30-50% and include options that reduce stocking of other salmon and trout species.

More information on the Status of the Lake Michigan fishery and the stocking options are available at: http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/explore/fisheries/the-future-of-salmon-and-trout-stocking-in-lake-michigan/.

For complete information on Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking strategies, please read the official Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Strategies Briefing.