July 25, 2011
The Department of Natural Resources will host three public meetings in the Lake Huron Watershed to discuss the future of Chinook salmon stocking in the lake. The meetings are scheduled for:
- Aug. 8, 7 – 9 p.m. Ubly Fox Hunters Club, 8780 S. Ubly Rd., Ubly.
- Aug. 9, 7-9 p.m., Oscoda, Oscoda Township Meeting Room, 208 S. State St., Oscoda. Building is on corner of Dwight Street and US-23. Attendees should access parking lot behind building using Dwight Street. Door on shared building will indicate Alexander Business Machines.
- Aug 10, 7-9 p.m., Cheboygan, Cheboygan Sportsman’s Club, 13516 Seffren Rd., Cheboygan.
In 2006, the DNR reduced Chinook salmon stocking in Lake Huron by 50 percent in response to a greatly reduced forage fish population and evidence that most of the salmon in the lake were produced naturally. At that time, the Department made a commitment to reassess the Chinook stocking issue in five years. Annual angler surveys show the fishing has not improved, but has further deteriorated.
"We now understand that there has been a significant food web disruption in Lake Huron, and we haven't seen any rebound of alewife, the preferred food for Chinook, since our previous stocking reduction in 2006," said Todd Grischke, acting Lake Huron Basin coordinator. "Lake Huron anglers have experienced a dramatic decline in Chinook salmon fishing success over the past several years, and recent data suggests that more than 80 percent of the Chinook salmon sampled are naturally produced, most likely from Canadian streams."
The DNR will present recent survey information at the meetings and ask anglers for their input.
"We want to make sure our anglers are apprised of the current situation in Lake Huron, and ask them help us chart the best course of action for the near future," Grischke said.
Angler input is encouraged and will be accepted through Aug. 31. DNR Fisheries Division will evaluate input and prepare a recommendation by October. Anglers who wish to comment should visit www.michigan.gov/fishpublicinput.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.