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Management options for Lake Michigan salmon and trout

Salmon and trout stocking in Lake Michigan is a critical management activity that state fisheries managers say has contributed to robust fishing in Lake Michigan for the past four decades.

A three-year Lake Michigan management strategy was developed in 2017 following more than two years of discussion and input from more than 500 anglers, business owners and other stakeholders. The strategy called for stocking Skamania steelhead for the first time in a decade, stocking larger salmon and trout that survive better, enhanced collaboration with sport, charter, and commercial fishers to collect critical fisheries information, and expanded efforts with fishing clubs to place stocked fish in pens in Lake Michigan to get acclimatized and grow bigger before they’re released.

Now Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff will re-engage stakeholders to begin discussions about Lake Michigan management and collaboration options for 2020 and beyond. To kick off that effort the department along with Wisconsin Sea Grant will be hosting the semi-annual Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum meeting on April 15, 2019.

At this meeting, department staff will gather input on the timeline for the meetings and gather stakeholder thoughts and ideas on the information that will be presented at these future meetings.

“The Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum meetings are open to all stakeholders, so we encourage you to attend if you are interested in setting the course for meetings to discuss salmon and trout management on Lake Michigan”, said Brad Eggold, Great Lakes District Fisheries Supervisor.

The Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., April 15 at the Lakeshore Technical College, Lake Michigan Conference Room in Cleveland.

In addition to this topic, attendees will discuss citizen science, guide reporting on Green Bay and highlights from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission meeting. For the full agenda and more information on the Fisheries Forum, search the DNR website,, for “Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum.”