Fish survey nets to be placed along St. Marys River in August
Member agencies of the St. Marys River Fisheries Task Group will be conducting a fish community survey of the entire St. Marys River during the month of August.
The St. Marys River is a connecting channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The survey work will cover many locations along the 70-mile-long river, from the upper river near Brimley, Michigan, to where the river empties into Lake Huron at DeTour.
Fisheries biologists and technicians will set survey nets at predetermined sites in the river and capture a variety of species to collect information on abundance, growth, mortality and size structure of fish populations.
The information will be compared to the 2017 survey report and data collected in earlier surveys, available on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s Lake Huron Committee webpage.
“This survey series provides the opportunity to look at the status of the St. Marys River fish community and look at any trends over time,” said Neal Godby, Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist. “In addition to the ongoing St. Marys creel survey — where staff along the river talk with people about their fishing experiences and help us estimate harvest — the collective data will allow us to better understand the overall health of the river’s fish population and fisheries.”
The fish community survey is an important component of the St. Marys River Fisheries Assessment Plan and is necessary to managing healthy, sustainable fish communities and fisheries. The information collected by this survey and other surveys will assist fisheries managers in Ontario and Michigan in critical decisions related to sport fish regulations, fish stocking, shared fisheries and future management goals and actions.
Boaters and anglers are asked not to disturb the nets or their floating markers. Nets will be set overnight and lifted the following day. The well-marked nets should not obstruct normal navigation routes for recreational vessels.
This is the 10th such survey since 1975, and the seventh done in a cooperative manner by local fisheries management agencies. The St. Marys River Fisheries Task Group is formed by the Great Lakers Fishery Commission. Along with the Michigan DNR, the group includes the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry; the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; the Bay Mills Indian Community; the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Lake Superior State University, Sault College and Algoma University.