DNR Fisheries Division releases 2013-2014 management updates for waters in Southwest MichiganContact: Jay Wesley, 269-685-6851 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014 Agency: Natural Resources
March 13, 2013
The Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit today announced fishery management actions and activities for the 2013-2014 angling season. These include fish stocking, habitat rehabilitation projects, creel census, fish community surveys and angler access programs.
"These management updates are provided as a means to notify anglers and the public of changes in management and to make lake and stream property owners aware of our survey activities," said Jay Wesley, Southern Lake Michigan Unit manager. "We also value and encourage public input regarding our management actions and activities."
The Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit covers the Grand, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Galien river watersheds and all the lakes and streams within that area. Each year, fisheries biologists and technicians evaluate management options on various water bodies in order to achieve increased fishery benefits. Fish stocking actions are reviewed at least every six years based on fish community or creel surveys. Counties with specific management actions and waters that are planned for surveys in 2013 are listed below.
Pine Creek Pond near Otsego has a new northern pike protected slot size limit of 24-34 inches. Chinook salmon stocking at Port Saugatuck will be reduced from 45,000 to 16,000 to reduce predation in Lake Michigan. Steelhead stocking will continue in the Rabbit River, and Swan Creek will continue to be stocked with brown trout. The Kalamazoo River will be sampled in April to determine the presence of spawning lake sturgeon as part of a long-term population rehabilitation effort. Available sturgeon eggs and larvae will be collected and raised in the streamside rearing facility in New Richmond. Walleye stocking will continue on the Kalamazoo River below Allegan Dam by annually altering between spring fingerling and fry life stages.
A proposal to increase the muskellunge size limit from 42 to 46 inches and to potentially stock muskellunge in Gun Lake will be out for public input throughout the spring. A bass recruitment evaluation will be conducted this fall on Gun Lake. Thornapple Lake will continue to be stocked with Great Lakes strain muskellunge to maintain a broodstock population and will be stocked with walleye. The size limit of northern pike on Fish Lake has been reduced from 30 to 24 inches. There are excellent shore fishing opportunities in the Yankee Springs Recreation Area at Gun Lake, Deep Lake and Hall Lake.
Fish community surveys are planned for Sand, McCoy and Pipestone creeks. Extensive habitat improvement along McCoy Creek through the city of Buchanan is planned for this spring and summer. Chinook salmon stocking will be reduced from 140,000 to 48,000 at the Port of St. Joseph to reduce predation in Lake Michigan. Brown trout stocking rates will be reduced on the South Branch Galien River to better match the streams carrying capacity. A creel survey will be conducted at the ports of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.
Fish community surveys are planned for Lake Lavine, Prairie River and Fisher Creek.
Natural resource damage assessments associated with the oil spill will continue on the Kalamazoo River/strong> and Talmadge Creek. A fish community survey is scheduled for Prairie Lake. The Rice Creek dam removal and habitat restoration project in Marshall is expected to be completed with installation of an appropriate sized culvert and modifications to the diversion structure.
Shore and wading opportunities for brown trout are available at Dodd County Park on the Dowagiac River and Russ Forest Park on Dowagiac Creek.
Great shore fishing opportunities are available on Lake Ovid in the Sleepy Hollow State Park. Kloeckner (Drain) Creek is scheduled for a fish community survey.
The Grand River offers fishing opportunities for walleye, suckers, smallmouth bass, steelhead and coho salmon at Delta Mills Park in Delta Township and Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge. Brown trout were recently introduced into the Battle Creek River in Bennett Park near Charlotte.
Coho salmon stocking in the Grand River near Lansing will be reduced to 50,000. The majority of the coho salmon stocking will be moved downstream below Lyons Dam to assist smolt survival by bypassing several dams. Michigan State University opened fishing along the north bank of the Red Cedar River from the municipal park up to Kalamazoo Street. Approximately 3,000 steelhead will be moved from the Grand River to the Red Cedar River to help promote this new fishing opportunity.
Shore fishing opportunities are available along Sessions Lake in the Ionia Recreation Area. Year-round angling opportunities are available along the Grand River in Portland, Lyons and Ionia for catfish, suckers, walleye, steelhead and coho salmon.
Shore fishing opportunities are available at Clear Lake County Park.
The Long Lake northern pike size limit will change from 24 inches to a 24-34 inch protected slot size limit. Natural resource damages associated with the Kalamazoo River oil spill will continue to be assessed.
Buck Creek will continue to be stocked with brown trout and will also receive fall fingerling steelhead. The upper Rogue River will continue to be stocked with brown trout and the lower Rogue River will receive 25,000 yearling coho salmon that have been moved from Lansing. A walleye survey is scheduled for the Grand River near Grand Rapids, and the Flat River and Bear Creek will be surveyed this summer.
A fish community survey is planned for Townline Lake, and the northern pike size limit on Townline Lake will change from 24 inches to the 24-34 inch protected slot limit.
Chinook salmon stocking was discontinued at Riverside Park in the Grand River and will be reduced at the Port of Grand Haven to reduce predation in Lake Michigan. Chinook salmon stocking at the Port of Holland will also be reduced. A creel survey will be conducted at the ports of Grand Haven, Port Sheldon and Holland.
St. Joseph County
A fish community survey is scheduled for Lake Templene. The Type B trout regulation will be removed from Corey Lake, but this regulation change will not go into effect until at least 2014. Channel catfish and walleye stocking is proposed for Palmer, Long and Sturgeon lakes to take advantage of the abundant gizzard shad populations in those lakes.
Van Buren County
North Scott Lake is scheduled for a fish community survey. The South Branch Paw Paw River and Pine Creek will continue to be stocked with brown trout, and some sites will be moved. Sand Creek will continue to be stocked with brown trout. Chinook salmon stocking will be reduced at the Port of South Haven. A creel survey will be conducted at South Haven.
For more information on or to provide comments on specific management activities, please contact Jay Wesley at 269-685-6851, email@example.com, or at the Plainwell Operations Service Center, Plainwell, MI 49080.
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.