DNR to provide update on Lake Michigan management options at Fisheries Forum meeting

CLEVELAND, Wis. – High-priority management actions for the Lake Michigan fishery identified by charter captains, recreational anglers and other stakeholders will be shared by leaders from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum.

The public meeting runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave., Cleveland, Wis., in Centennial Hall West.

The meeting is a follow-up to the three public Lake Michigan salmon and trout management meetings that were convened in late June to gather stakeholder input on potential Lake Michigan management strategies. Brad Eggold, DNR Great Lakes fisheries supervisor, said the department received numerous suggestions and good input at the meetings as well as more than 60 emailed comments from stakeholders during the public comment period on management of the multi-million dollar fishery.

“The department is thankful for the diverse stakeholder interest and participation in discussing and developing management strategies for Lake Michigan salmon and trout,” Eggold said. “The Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum meeting will provide an opportunity for discussion of management options and strategies that acknowledge the diverse biological, social and economic feedback we’ve received.”

The upcoming Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum meeting will include a presentation by the department followed by a facilitated discussion. Management options and actions will be presented and will cover topics including:

  • Lake trout stocking numbers and consideration of increased bag limits as well as expanded access to lake trout;
  • A potential increase in the number of ports that use net pens to optimize the release of chinook with the potential for reduced predation;
  • Efforts to fully meet stocking quotas for steelhead to ensure diverse fishing opportunities;
  • The latest biological data and chinook salmon stocking options; and
  • Discussion of an implementation timeline and next steps to assure optimal stakeholder engagement in future management strategies.

DNR continues to work with regional clubs, recreational anglers, fishing tournament participants and charter captains to monitor their experiences with this year’s catch and gather additional data.

“Throughout the summer, we’ve seen significant success among anglers with some of the largest chinook salmon in the last several years being harvested,” Eggold said. “Fishing for salmon and trout in Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan has been outstanding for most of the summer with anglers also catching significant numbers of coho salmon and rainbow trout.”

Background information including a copy of the presentation to stakeholders from DNR’s June 27 meeting in Cleveland, Wis., can be found by visiting the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov and searching “Lake Michigan salmon and trout meetings.”

The Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum offers opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to hear the latest research findings, management news and trends affecting the lake. The forum is facilitated by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute with support from DNR. Representatives from major sport fishing clubs on Lake Michigan and Green Bay, commercial fishers, the Conservation Congress and the University of Wisconsin System are formal members of the forum.