Should DNR increase stocking of Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan? Virtual meeting scheduled

‘The proposed 54% increase from 650K to 1 million spring fingerlings is a modest increase’

Chinook salmon: Michigan Department of Natural Resources proposes to increase Chinook salmon stocking by 54% in Lake Michigan. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said it is seeing good indicators that a modest stocking increase of Chinook salmon populations is needed in Lake Michigan.

There have been decades of fish stocking decreases to balance the populations of both the alewife and Chinook salmon, according to the DNR. To discuss the proposal and get feedback from the public, the DNR will host a virtual meeting on Sept. 19 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

“We have seen several years of good Chinook salmon growth and have a slight increase in the alewife biomass, or abundance of those fish,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR’s Lake Michigan basin coordinator. “Although the alewife biomass is a fraction of what it was historically, we have a good 2021-year class and have seen up to six-year classes of alewives in our fisheries surveys – that means there are up to six different age groups in the current population of alewife.”

Wesley said that a recently run predator-prey model also suggests that Lake Michigan has a good ratio of Chinook to alewife biomass, which is one of many indicators used to inform stocking decisions.

“The proposed 54% increase from 650,000 to 1 million spring fingerlings is a modest increase compared to the estimated 4.5 million wild Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan,” said Wesley. “It will allow us to increase numbers at sites like Charlevoix that contribute to the entire lake fishery and reinstate stocking sites like Ludington State Park and Fairport.”

Read: Michigan fishing guide: Season opener dates every angler should know

When will the meeting be held?

The Michigan Sea Grant will assist with the Zoom meeting.

The meeting will be held on Sept. 19 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

You can click here to join the meeting. The passcode is “2022.”

You can also join via telephone by calling 646-876-9923 or 301-715-8592. The Webinar ID is “994 1124 7153″

If you have any questions, contact Jay Wesley.

Meeting organizers will provide an update on the conditions of Lake Michigan, along with proposed stocking locations and the number of fish stocked.

To learn more about how the DNR manages fisheries, visit

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About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.