Successful fish stocking season creates more fishing opportunities
The Department of Natural Resources today announced the totals from its fall fish stocking efforts. The DNR’s Fisheries Division stocked eight different species totaling more than 1,050,000 fish that weighed more than 12.5 tons. Fish were stocked at 111 different locations throughout the state.
“It was another outstanding fall stocking season that will provide enhanced fishing opportunities throughout Michigan,” said DNR Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan. “This is in addition to our successful spring stocking efforts that put more than 19 million fish into the state’s waters.”
The number and type of fish stocked varies by hatchery as each facility’s ability to rear fish differs because of water supplies and temperature. In Michigan, there are six state and three cooperative hatcheries that work together to produce the species, strain and size of fish needed by fisheries managers. These fish must then be delivered at a specific time and location for stocking to ensure their success. Most fish in Michigan are stocked in the spring.
Fall fish stockings consisted of brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake sturgeon, walleye and muskellunge.
- The Marquette State Fish Hatchery stocked 34,093 fall fingerling and adult brook and lake trout that weighed 2,225 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of 47 locations using 18 trips.
- The Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 157,909 fall fingerling brown trout and steelhead that weighed 1,947 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of five locations using four trips.
- The Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 90,244 fall fingerling rainbow trout that weighed 1,967 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of two locations using two trips.
- The Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 221,808 fall fingerling coho salmon weighing 8,745 pounds and 36,453 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 701 pounds. All coho salmon were stocked into the Paw Paw River using three trips and the Atlantic salmon into Torch Lake using one trip.
- The Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (near Kalamazoo) stocked 435,950 fall fingerling steelhead weighing 6,598 pounds and 56,143 fall fingerling Great Lakes and northern muskellunge weighing 2,358 pounds. The steelhead were stocked at six sites using four trips and muskellunge were stocked at 33 locations using 20 trips.
- The DNR’s cooperative hatchery at Lake Superior State University produced 13,400 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 500 pounds. These fish were stocked with one trip in Torch Lake (Antrim County).
- Eastern Lake Superior, Northern Lake Michigan and Southern Lake Huron fisheries management units stocked 3,877 fall fingerling walleye weighing 229 pounds. These fish were stocked at eight sites using seven trips.
- The Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stocked 50 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing less than a pound into the Kalamazoo River.
- The Marquette Fisheries Research Station stocked a total of 598 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing 22 pounds into four sites in the Upper Peninsula. Four stocking trips were needed for this effort.
- The DNR’s cooperative hatchery with Michigan State University on the Black River stocked 4,490 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing 66 pounds. These fish were stocked using three trips into four sites on Black, Burt and Mullet lakes.
In general, fish are reared in Michigan’s state fish hatcheries anywhere from one month to one and a half years before they are stocked.
The DNR welcomes visitors to its state fish hatcheries and interpretative centers to witness first-hand the fish-rearing process and to learn about Michigan’s waters. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/hatcheries.
To find out if any fish were stocked in your favorite fishing spot, visit the DNR’s fish stocking database at www.michigandnr.com/fishstock.