DNR says successful fish stocking season creates more fishing opportunities

The Department of Natural Resources this past week announced the totals from its fall fish stocking efforts. The DNR’s Fisheries Division stocked eight different species totaling more than 1,050,000 fish that weighed more than 12.5 tons. Fish were stocked at 111 different locations throughout the state.

“It was another outstanding fall stocking season that will provide enhanced fishing opportunities throughout Michigan,” said DNR Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan. “This is in addition to our successful spring stocking efforts that put more than 19 million fish into the state’s waters.”

The number and type of fish stocked varies 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 must then be delivered at a specific time and location for stocking to ensure their success. Most fish in Michigan are stocked in the spring.

Fall fish stockings consisted of brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake sturgeon, walleye and muskellunge.

The Marquette State Fish Hatchery stocked 34,093 fall fingerling and adult brook and lake trout that weighed 2,225 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of 47 locations using 18 trips.

The Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 157,909 fall fingerling brown trout and steelhead that weighed 1,947 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of five locations using four trips.

Eastern Lake Superior, Northern Lake Michigan and Southern Lake Huron fisheries management units stocked 3,877 fall fingerling walleye weighing 229 pounds. These fish were stocked at eight sites using seven trips.

The Marquette Fisheries Research Station stocked a total of 598 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing 22 pounds into four sites in the Upper Peninsula. Four stocking trips were needed for this effort.

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.

The DNR welcomes visitors to its state fish hatcheries and interpretative centers to witness first-hand the fish-rearing process and to learn about Michigan’s waters. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/hatcheries.

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