Michigan waters stocked with 22 million fish in 2014

Courtesy:  Michigan DNR

LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources today announced the totals from its fall fish-stocking efforts. The DNR’s Fisheries Division stocked six different species, totaling more than 483,250 fish that weighed more than 8.8 tons. Fish were stocked at more than 120 sites throughout the state.

“It was another outstanding fall fish stocking season that will provide enhanced angling opportunities throughout Michigan,” said DNR acting Fish Production Manager Ed Eisch. “When added to our successful spring and summer stocking efforts, that brings the total for 2014 to more than 22 million fish put into Michigan’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, walleye and muskellunge.

  • Marquette State Fish Hatchery stocked 49,980 fall fingerling and adult brook and lake trout that weighed 2,123 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of 49 locations in 18 trips.
  • Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 66,913 fall fingerling steelhead that weighed 1,611 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of four locations in three trips.
  • Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 233,755 fall fingerling rainbow trout that weighed 4,208 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of 12 locations in four trips.
  • Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 43,221 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 1,522 pounds. All Atlantic salmon were stocked into Torch Lake (Antrim County) in a single trip.
  • Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (near Kalamazoo) stocked 42,534 fall fingerling Great Lakes muskellunge, 1,510 fall fingerling northern strain muskellunge and 37 Muskegon strain walleye for a combined total of 4,950 pounds. The muskellunge were stocked at 27 sites in 15 trips, and walleye were stocked at two locations.
  • The DNR’s cooperative hatchery at Lake Superior State University produced 9,816 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 606 pounds. These fish were stocked in one trip at two different locations on Torch Lake.
  • Northern Lake Michigan, Southern Lake Michigan and Southern Lake Huron Fisheries Management Units stocked 35,521 fall fingerling walleye weighing 2,653.9 pounds. These fish were stocked at 32 sites in 16 trips.

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.

As a reminder, fishing licenses do NOT expire at the end of the calendar year; they are valid through March 31.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.