Fisheries Report 06 Abstract

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Fisheries Report 06, 2015

History of the Little Manistee River Weir and Fall Chinook Salmon Egg-Take, 1991-2007

Janice M. Sapak
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Platte River State Fish Hatchery,
15210 U.S. Highway 31, Beulah, Michigan 49617

Jory L. Jonas
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station,
96 Grant Street, Charlevoix, Michigan 49720

Abstract.-The Little Manistee River weir was initially built in 1967 to trap returning adult salmon and trout for the purpose of collecting eggs in support of stocking efforts. It is now one of the largest and most advanced egg take and harvest facilities in the State of Michigan. The weir is the primary broodstock and egg collection site for Chinook salmon and steelhead in Michigan. Chinook salmon populations in the river are continually supplemented by annually stocking spring fingerlings. Steelhead populations are naturalized and self-sustaining. Chinook salmon account for nearly 75% of the fish recovered during fall harvest weir operations. Coho represent 17% of the fish handled with steelhead (8%) and brown trout (<1%) contributing to a lesser degree. The length, weight and condition (KTL) of nearly all species has trended downward since 2003 and egg sizes of Chinook salmon are reaching near record lows. Observations of lamprey wounding on Chinook and coho salmon have been higher in recent years and correspond with observations for lake trout in adjacent Great Lakes waters. The facility continues as the primary site for Chinook salmon and steelhead gamete collections. As such, long-term trends in run size, health and condition of these key populations should be monitored closely to determine if management interventions or alternative strategies are required to ensure success of salmon rearing and stocking programs.