Michigan targeting U.P. kayak anglers

Many parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have seen a recent increase in kayak recreation, offering local fisheries managers opportunities to entice kayakers to visit smaller lakes throughout the region, according to the Michigan DNR.

“Folks are seeking more ‘quiet sports’ and secluded places to get away from people,” said George Madison, a DNR fisheries manager in the western Upper Peninsula. “Our unit is responding to these desires by creating more fishing opportunities in these quiet spots.”

The DNR’s Western Lake Superior Management Unit has been conducting bluegill transfers to small potholes lakes in its area as kayak anglers have shown an interest in targeting panfish.

“They just want to catch fish,” Madison said. “And in the future we’ll try to look at more access opportunities to make it easier for kayakers to launch.”

According to the DNR, specific waterbodies in that part of the state that lend themselves to kayak anglers – and have had bluegill stocked by the DNR – include Rockland Pond (Ontonagon County), Manganese Lake (Keweenaw County), Silver Lake Basin and Tourist Park Impoundment (both Marquette County).

Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the Upper Peninsula, kayak fishing is popular in the local trout lakes, the DNR said.

“All of these lakes are perfect for those anglers looking for floating and fishing,” said local DNR fisheries biologist, Cory Kovacs. “Most are brook trout lakes.”

Kayak-friendly waterbodies in Luce County include Dillingham Lake, Holland Lake, Silver Creek Pond, Syphon Lake, Ward Lake and Youngs Lake, with Pratt Lake offering rainbow trout and Tank Lake offering splake, too. Pretty Lake Complex, is becoming popular with kayak anglers as well.

“We usually recommend this complex to visiting anglers because it offers diverse fisheries, so there’s something for everyone, including some solitude,” Kovacs said.

Additionally the Two Hearted River is gaining local traction, the DNR said. It’s a Type 4 section, so anglers hit steelhead in the spring, brook trout in the summer, and salmon in the fall, according to the agency.

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