Chicago – The latest survey of Lake Michigan’s forage base,
conducted by the Great Lakes Science Center revealed the alewife
biomass (total abundance lakewide) had doubled in 2009. The good
news is there are more alewives than were found in 2008. The bad
news: with the alewife population down by 95 percent over the past
10 years, the doubling its numbers is only a small step in the
Anglers are hoping this is a start.
Regular sampling of other Lake Michigan forage fish showed
rainbow smelt also doubling their population, but again, this is a
severely depressed species. The study continued to confirm the
2005-year class of yellow perch was the largest ever recorded.
But, before sportsmen run out to dance in the street over this
news, they should temper their enthusiasm with the fact that
invasive mussels, the root cause of much harm, have increased their
population five-fold in just one year.
As a result in a particularly successful coho rearing hatchery
operation, the neighboring Indiana DNR released 11,000 coho smolts
into the St. Joseph River. This planting is the first ever for this
river, and will supplement the 242,000 coho Indiana released in the
Little Calumet River.
Other Great Lakes news:
n The International Game Fish Association has declared that the
41.8-pound brown trout Roger Hellen caught July 16 in Lake Michigan
off Racine has broken one world record and now shares another.
The monster catch has already earned Hellen $10,000 for the
biggest fish of the Salmon-A-Rama fishing contest, and placed his
name in the state record book. It is the largest fish of any
species landed in Salmon-A-Rama’s 30-plus year history.
The IGFA approved a 50-pound test line-class record for Hellen,
and his fish will share the all-tackle record with another Lake
Michigan monster, a 41.7-pound brown caught last year.
Also, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward
has already certified Hellen’s catch as the species world
n While invasive species continue to dominate news items
relating to the Great Lakes, there are some positive steps being
taken to address the wrongs that have been done to the world’s
largest body of fresh water. And, there is encouraging news for the
Great Lakes fishery and the anglers who enjoy its world-class sport
The anti establishment suffered a significant setback when the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 4 denied a petition
calling for a ban on the manufacture and use of lead based fishing
Several groups filed the petition on Aug. 3 to ban the
production and sale of lead based ammunition and fishing tackle
under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976.
n Chicago’s new 31st Street Marina with space for 840 boats will
include a new restaurant, lakefront community center and parking
for 300 cars.
The sleek new building includes a translucent glass curtain
The new harbor is the first to be built by the Chicago Park
District in nearly a decade – since Du Sable Harbor opened with 420
slips. The $110 million project is being financed by a revenue bond
retired by 20 years of boat mooring fees. The new harbor is
expected to open in 2011.