Fall fish stocking ups angling opportunities in Michigan

The Michigan DNR recently wrapped up its 2016 fish-stocking efforts. (Michigan DNR photo)

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources stocked 10 different species totaling more than 300,000 fish that weighed nearly eight tons this fall, the agency said in a release Thursday, Jan. 19. Fish were stocked at 99 locations throughout the state.

“It was another outstanding fall fish stocking season that will provide enhanced opportunities throughout Michigan,” DNR Fish Production Manager Ed Eisch said. “When added to our successful spring and summer stocking efforts, that brings the total for 2016 to more than 34 million fish put into Michigan’s waters.”

The number and type of fish stocked vary 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 then must be delivered at specific times and locations for stocking to ensure their success. Most fish in Michigan are stocked in the spring.

Fall fish stocking in 2016 consisted of brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake sturgeon, channel catfish, walleye and muskellunge.

  • Harrietta State Fish Hatchery (west of Cadillac) stocked five locations with 24,650 fall fingerling wild rose-strain brown trout that weighed 1,445 pounds.
  • Marquette State Fish Hatchery (near Marquette) stocked 33,818 fall fingerling and adult brook and lake trout that weighed a combined 3,999 pounds. These fish were stocked at a total of 53 locations.
  • Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 86,752 fall fingerling rainbow trout that weighed 1,329 pounds and seven Black Lake strain lake sturgeon weighing 1 pound. Oden stocked three locations with these fish.
  • Platte River State Fish Hatchery (west of Traverse City) stocked 41,976 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 2,560 pounds. These salmon were stocked in Torch Lake (Antrim County) at two locations.
  • Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 71,128 fall fingerling steelhead that weighed 847 pounds. Thompson stocked two locations.
  • Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (west of Kalamazoo) stocked three species of fall fingerlings in 2016. These included 7,000 yearling channel catfish weighing 1,543 pounds at five locations. These fish were part of a cooperative agreement with Ohio. Wolf Lake also stocked 23,445 Great Lake and 1,110 Northern-strain muskellunge fall fingerlings that weighed 2,963 pounds and were stocked at 14 sites. The hatchery also provided 14,423 Muskegon-strain fall fingerling walleye that weighed 901 pounds and were stocked at 15 sites.

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.

To find out if any fish were stocked in a favorite fishing spot, visit the DNR’s fish stocking database at Michigandnr.com/fishstock/.

 

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