Lake Michigan Fishing Looking Bright In 2021

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is projecting a strong season for the Lake Michigan fishery as early surveys indicate anglers are already catching coho salmon in the southern basin of Lake Michigan.

Solid catches in the southern basin of Lake Michigan have been reported. Like most years, fish will start migrating up the coast of Lake Michigan into Wisconsin waters, leading DNR staff to think 2021 will be a strong year for most salmon and trout.

Last year, Wisconsin anglers caught good numbers of steelhead, chinook and coho salmon and projections for 2021 look very positive.

Over the last two years, DNR staff have worked closely with stakeholders and partners to develop the 2020-2022 Lake Michigan stocking plan to enhance fisheries management in Lake Michigan. As a part of that plan, the DNR will continue its stocking efforts in Lake Michigan has stocked:

50,077 brook trout
411,229 brown trout
1,202,183 chinook salmon
514,657 coho salmon
430,313 steelhead

An additional 45,000 lake trout will be stocked into Lake Michigan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this year.

Last year, the DNR made a variety of short-term management decisions to protect the health and safety of the public and DNR staff, including altering certain initiatives in the Lake Michigan and stocking plans. Some of those initiatives, like net pens, are set to resume this year.