Annual Commercial Catch & Value

On an annual basis between 25,000 and 38,000 gallons of minnow are harvested annually from Michigan's waters. About 85-90% of this is harvested from the Great Lakes or their tributaries within a few miles of the lake. On the wholesale market this harvest is valued anywhere from $900,000 to $1.3 million annually. At retail, these minnows are worth from $5 to $7.5 million each year. The average minnow harvest broken down by species is the following:

minnow harvest by species chart
Michigan's Commercial Minnow Harvest by Species: 2011-2015

On a smaller scale, between 1,166 and 3,500 pints of wigglers are harvested annually from Michigan's waters with most of the harvest from Mason County. On the wholesale market the wiggler harvest is valued anywhere from $35,000 to $100,000 annually. At retail, wigglers are worth from $150,000 to $270,000 each year.

On the smallest scale, between zero and 500 gallons of native crayfish are harvested annually from Michigan's waters. The reported crayfish harvest is a sporadic activity that does not provide much value to the industry. The lack of commercial crayfish harvest in Michigan is likely attributed to most of the state's major rivers systems being infested with invasive rusty crayfish, which is illegal commercially harvest, possess, sell and use as bait in Michigan. As a result, most harvesters simply do not target crayfish.