Chinook salmon catch on Lake Michigan to be reducedRegional News
-- The numbers of Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan would be cut drastically for three years, under a plan announced yesterday.
CHICAGO - The numbers of Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan would be cut drastically for three years, under a plan announced yesterday.
The Lake Michigan Committee, which is part of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, says the alewife – a major food source for salmon – is at historic lows. And committee spokesman Mark Gaden says lower stocking levels are needed to keep the lake’s ecosystem healthy and in balance.
The panel wants to reduce the total number of Chinook salmon released into Lake Michigan from three-point-three million to one-point-seven million for three years starting next spring. The Wisconsin part of the lake would get about 440,000 fewer salmon. Most of the reproduction takes place on Michigan waters – and that state would take a loss of 1.1 million fish. If nothing is done, officials fear that Lake Michigan would get thin-and-malnourished sport fish. Lake Huron also saw its alewives disappear – but over time, a more natural reproductive system took its place. Gaden says the same thing could happen in Lake Michigan – but no one knows how long or extensive the adjustment would be.
All four states that surround Lake Michigan would have to approve the salmon reduction plan.