The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been working hard this fall to gather the eggs necessary for the continued production of hatchery fish that support Michigan’s world-class fisheries, and that effort will continue this winter. Fall egg-takes have been completed for wild Chinook and coho salmon, but are ongoing for captive broodstocks – the mature fish used for breeding – of brown, rainbow, brook and lake trout.
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.”
The coho egg take got underway at the Upper Platte River weir Oct. 14. The coho run has been very strong this fall, with just over 17,500 adults already passed above the Lower Platte River weir.
“We’re planning to collect about 5.5 million coho salmon eggs at the Platte River weir by the time the egg-take is wrapped up. This includes approximately 2.5 million eggs for Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. All four states work together cooperatively each year to ensure Lake Michigan continues to receive Pacific salmon to supplement the fishery,” said Switzer.
At Oden State Fish Hatchery, egg-takes for brown trout occurred in late October. Captive broodstock egg-takes for brook and lake trout are in progress until mid-November at the Marquette State Fish Hatchery. Rainbow trout egg-takes at Oden State Fish Hatchery will start in December and continue until mid-January.
Captive broodstocks will provide 220,000 brook trout eggs, 410,000 lake trout eggs, 2.3 million brown trout eggs and 1 million rainbow trout eggs. An additional 640,000 splake eggs (brook trout and lake trout hybrid) also will be collected to support Michigan’s fisheries management objectives.
To learn more about efforts through Michigan’s state fish hatcheries or to plan a trip, visit Michigan.gov/Hatcheries.