Lake trout harvest quota reached in Munising Bay|
Michigan Department of Natural Resources biologists recently announced projections indicating that lake trout anglers in waters off Munising Bay could exceed their annual quota, and asked sport anglers to voluntarily reduce their lake trout harvest in those waters for the remainder of the season.
Following a meeting with local sport angling groups last week, DNR staff also announced that the department will resume stocking coho salmon in the Munising Unit next year. Coho stocking was discontinued in 1993.
“We’re working hard to manage the Munising Unit to create a healthy, plentiful lake trout population,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Kelley Smith. “Sport anglers have traditionally been valuable partners to the DNR management plans, and we count on their continued support with helping to rehabilitate lake trout throughout lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron.”
Smith said the coho stocking will help diversify the fishery and take fishing pressure off lake trout. He added that the stocking will continue on an experimental basis, in Munising Bay only, for the next five years.
Fisheries Division staff submitted proposed lake trout orders to the Natural Resources Commission at the NRC’s regular meeting last week. The proposed regulations for Munising Bay are the same as this year’s, but staff noted those regulations could modified based on information gathered from this year’s catch.
“Our challenge is to construct regulations that maintain a harvest below the quota, allow sport anglers to keep a large fish that they may wish to take home, and minimize the number of released fish that may perish from stress factors,” Smith said. “We will continue working with local sport angling groups to monitor the effectiveness of the regulations and make changes as needed.”
Lake trout harvest quotas were established as part of the 2000 Consent Decree between the state and federal government and Native American tribes in the 1836 Treaty Waters. For more information on the Consent Decree and how it benefits Michigan fisheries, visit the DNR web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.