Article Posted: April 22, 2002

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LANSING--The Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources will continue surveying popular walleye
lakes in Michigan this spring as part of its effort to
assess key sport fishing waters in Michigan.
To date, nearly 47,000 walleye have been jaw-tagged and
counted in Muskegon Lake, and DNR crews have moved to north
and south Lakes Leelanaw, where assessment will continue
through the end of April. More than 10,000 walleye are
targeted for the population estimates in those two water
The next effort will focus on the Cisco chain of lakes,
which span the Michigan-Wisconsin border in the western
Upper Peninsula. That assessment is slated for late April or
early May, once work has been completed in the Lower
Peninsula and northern inland lakes are ice-free.
"The Cisco chain of lakes, which includes 14 lakes in all,
will be an important assessment," said Kelley Smith, DNR
Fisheries Chief. Smith noted that approximately 1,500
walleye from various points throughout the chain will be
captured, jaw-tagged and released over a period of two to
three weeks. The information helps the DNR better understand
fish populations and densities, and jaw-tagging allows
biologists to track fish movement from lake to lake.
"The data gathered in the Cisco chain also helps the
Michigan and Wisconsin DNR set harvest quotas for future
Native American walleye harvests," added Jim Ekdahl, DNR
U.P. Field Deputy and Tribal Issues Coordinator. Each
spring, Native American fishermen spear walleye throughout
the Cisco chain under the 1842 Treaty.
Lake surveys are conducted on lakes around the state on an
annual rotational basis. Survey results are shared with
other agencies to establish databases that will assist
future management planning. The Wisconsin DNR, which assists
the Michigan DNR survey crews with the Cisco chain
assessment, will be utilizing the collected data to help
establish that state's rules and regulations. Three lakes in
the Cisco chain span the state boundary, including Big Lake,
West Bay Lake and Mamie Lake, and are governed by special
regulations outlined on page 18 of the 2002 Michigan Fishing
Walleye season opens in Wisconsin May 4, and will include
the three boundary lakes in the Cisco chain. The Michigan
walleye fishing season opens May 15.
"It is important for anglers planning to fish the Cisco
chain of lakes to be aware of our survey crews, which will
likely still be working those waters when the Wisconsin
walleye season opens, and the process may even carry through
the Michigan's opening day," said Smith, who emphasized that
anglers should be watchful for "boom shocking" efforts and
nets. The agency survey nets are clearly marked property of
the Michigan or Wisconsin DNR, and are checked daily by
survey crews.
Creel census surveys will be conducted throughout the coming
year to assess the prevalence of tagged walleye in the
overall sport fishing harvest. Angler success can also be
reported to area DNR field offices. The DNR, in some cases,
provides a financial reward to anglers who assist with the
assessment by returning the jaw tags from the walleye they
For more information contact Richard Clark, DNR
research Section, 734-663-3554, extension 109.

Source: MBNR

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