Wisconsin DNR: Lake Michigan stocking plan paying off for anglers [video]

MADISON, Wis. — Lake Michigan boat anglers report catching good numbers of salmon and trout this summer and the state DNR has finished its first full year of implementing a new and enhanced stocking strategy to assure strong fish populations and fishing into the future, the agency said in a news release.

“We’re happy to see boat anglers are reporting good harvests of fish this year,” says Brad Eggold, DNR Great Lakes District fisheries supervisor. “Fish caught this year are large and in good condition. This indicates that the stocking adjustments that Wisconsin and other agencies have made appear to be paying off, and we’re excited about what future years will bring.

“The hard work of our hatchery staff has allowed us to fully implement the first year of the enhanced stocking plan, we’ve strengthened partnerships with stakeholders, and we’ve secured funding for a hatchery renovation. All of these will help us provide fantastic fishing on Lake Michigan into the future.”

The Lake Michigan stocking strategy was developed over more than two years with discussion and input from more than 500 anglers, business owners and other stakeholders. This spring the DNR stocked Lake Michigan with chinook and coho salmon and brown and rainbow trout under the new 2018-2020 management plan. Stocking Skamania steelhead for the first time in a decade is shown in the video above.

DNR secured approval in June from the state Building Commission to go ahead with final design phases for an updated Kettle Moraine Springs Fish Hatchery. At 70 years old, the facility has reached its useful lifetime and plans call for major improvements to the hatchery that will allow production of more fish for stocking in Lake Michigan with less groundwater and energy use and better conditions for fish and staff. The request for proposals to refurbish the hatchery are expected to go out this winter, with construction beginning shortly thereafter

In addition, the DNR is embarking on a public-private partnership with Coolidge Springs Trout Farm in Fifield, Wis., to raise 50,000 steelhead annually to meet the stocking plan for the next three years.

For more information on Lake Michigan fishing, click here.

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