DNR seeks public input on Lake Michigan management plan and future stocking efforts

Contact: Jay Wesley, 269-685-6851, ext. 117 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839
Agency: Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host three public meetings this month along the Lake Michigan coast – Nov. 28 in Manistique, Nov. 29 in Traverse City and Nov. 30 in Grand Haven – to hear from the public on two issues that will affect the lake: a draft management plan and future stocking activities.

Draft Lake Michigan management plan

This draft plan sets long-term vision and goals for the Lake Michigan fishery. It also outlines the process for ensuring the public is involved and is aligned with shorter-term strategies and tactics. The draft plan was developed through engagement with focus groups, advisory committees and DNR staff.

A copy of the draft plan is available for public feedback and can be found online at https://mdnrlmfmp.wordpress.com/. This website is hosted through a partnership with Michigan Sea Grant.

Stocking options

The DNR, together with other state natural resource agencies and tribal fishery managers, is working to balance predators in Lake Michigan with available prey. Last year, Chinook salmon stocking in Michigan waters was reduced by 41 percent as part of that effort. Throughout 2017, stakeholders provided the DNR with considerable feedback to consider reducing other predators (rather than just Chinook salmon) to seek a predator and prey balance.

Future stocking options now are available on the DNR’s salmon website for public feedback. These options propose reductions and movement of brown trout, movement of some coho salmon to southern Lake Michigan, and reductions in second-priority lake trout stocking sites in northern Lake Michigan. These options follow a new concept that emerged from focus group discussions while developing the draft Lake Michigan management plan.

“Collecting public input is a critical part in effectively managing Michigan’s world-class fisheries,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR’s Lake Michigan Basin coordinator. “The conversations we hope to have at this month’s meetings will help us all re-think how we do some new things on Lake Michigan, yet still meet the needs of anglers and the resource.”

Public meeting dates, locations

  • Tuesday, Nov. 28 – Manistique
    6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Comfort Inn Conference Room, 617 E. Lake Shore Drive
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29 – Traverse City
    6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road
  • Thursday, Nov. 30 – Grand Haven
    6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave. 

For more information, contact Jay Wesley at 269-685-6851, ext. 117 or wesleyj@michigan.gov.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.