$34 million boost for Michigan fishing infrastructure

Just about every angler has a favorite fishing spot and certain species that make the chase especially rewarding. Whether you’re after salmon on the Big Sable River, walleye on West Lake, muskie on the Muskegon River or just hoping for a little tug on the line at your local fishing hole, odds are good that DNR fisheries staff and partners played a big part in improving that experience.

Fishing is big recreational business in Michigan, and a shared outdoor tradition that spans generations – nearly 1.2 million people purchased licenses in 2021, for fishing on all types of waters, from tiny inland streams to the powerful Great Lakes.

Protecting and improving the health and abundance of the fish in those waters requires quality facilities, effective tools and adequate funding. In case you missed it, DNR fish production and research got a $34 million boost in the state’s 2023 budget, directing $30 million for critical fish hatchery infrastructure upgrades and $4 million for the purchase of a new Great Lakes survey vessel. The funding will help address a backlog of facility needs that directly affect the DNR’s ability to rear and safeguard fish for stocking, and enable the department to replace the SV Steelhead, which has been in operation for 54 years.