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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

MDNR Report

Lake Michigan Chinook

After decades of fish stocking decreases to balance the alewife and Chinook salmon populations, the Michigan DNR is seeing good indicators that a modest stocking increase may be warranted in Lake Michigan.

To discuss this proposal and receive public feedback, the DNR will host a virtual meeting Monday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“We have seen several years of good Chinook salmon growth and have a slight increase in the alewife biomass, or abundance of those fish,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR's Lake Michigan basin coordinator. “Although the alewife biomass is a fraction of what it was historically, we have a good 2021-year class and have seen up to six-year classes of alewives in our fisheries surveys – that means there are up to six different age groups in the current population of alewife." 

A "year class" refers to all of the fish of any species hatched, either through natural reproduction or through fish-rearing efforts, during that year's spawning period. 

MDNR Report

Lake Trout

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved a fishing regulation change regarding lake trout and splake in Lake Huron. The change went into effect May 13.

(Editor’s note: The following information was provided by Brendon Sutter of the Tackle Shack.)

Cooper Schwartz with big trout

Eleven-year-old Cooper Schwartz will never forget his first trout fishing experience.

The young man joined his uncle Matt for some trout fishing on opening day. The pair headed to the Little Elkhart River at Riverbend Park in Middlebury, Ind.

Cooper had never been trout fishing. His uncle rigged him with a little Mepps Spinner and the lad began fishing.

IDNR/MDNR Reports

Fisherman Holding Trout

In addition to Michigan’s walleye and pike seasons, Indiana and Michigan kicks off their inland trout fishing seasons Saturday.

Anglers are reminded that in Upper Peninsula waters, the walleye and northern pike possession seasons openers are delayed until Sunday, May 15. Michigan’s muskellunge possession season on all Great Lakes, inland waters, the St. Marys River, Lake St. Clair, and the St. Clair and Detroit rivers opens Saturday, June 4. Remember that catch-and-release fishing for muskellunge is open all year.  

In Indiana, nearly 22,000 trout are being stocked by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife in 16 different streams across Indiana for inland trout season.

Indiana’s trout come from Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station near Howe in LaGrange County and average roughly 11 inches in length. To find a stocked stream near you, see the trout stocking plan at bit.ly/36XmSgi.

One body of water that is absent from this year’s April stocking list is the tailwater of Brookville Lake in Franklin County. Scheduled maintenance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is delaying rainbow trout stockings there until fall. 

MDNR Report

DNR Staff with Chinook

The Michigan DNR worked hard this fall and winter to gather the eggs necessary for the continued production of hatchery fish that support Michigan’s world-class fisheries.

Chinook salmon eggs were collected Sept. 30 through Oct. 7 at the Little Manistee River Weir, and coho salmon eggs were collected Oct. 17 through Nov. 2 at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery Weir. 

“We had a decent run of wild Chinook salmon this year,” said Aaron Switzer, manager of the state fish hatcheries located in the Lower Peninsula. “The run at the Little Manistee was healthy enough to provide all of Michigan’s egg needs. We were also able to provide eggs to Indiana and Illinois. Once hatched, reared and stocked, all of these Chinook salmon will contribute to the Lake Michigan salmon fishery.”