Friday, July 27, 2012

Lake Huron Chinook Salmon

According to Michigan's Department of Natural Resources, Chinook salmon are experiencing a decline in Lake Huron.

"Recreational harvest of Chinook salmon has virtually vanished in the southern two-thirds of Lake Huron," said acting DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. "It's obvious the forage base is no longer available to support large numbers of Chinooks in Lake Huron."

Analysis of recreational catch data shows only the northern portion of Lake Huron continues to produce a viable recreational fishery.

Due to the poor return and harvest of stocked Chinooks, Michigan DNR plans to reduce Chinook salmon stocking in Lake Huron by more than half in 2012, compared to 2011 levels.

DNR consulted with the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority, the Lake Huron Citizen Fishery Advisory Committee, Ontario fisheries officials, and held three public meetings in the Lake Huron Basin before making the reductions.

source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Fish Kills

During summer, hot, dry weather and low water levels can trigger fish kills in ponds, lakes, and rivers. Although summer fish kills rarely affect entire fish populations, these events can impact local ecosystems, disrupt fishing, and alarm the public.

Summer fish kills are often caused by low oxygen levels in the water. When periods of excess heat occur along with little or no rainfall, water levels and oxygen levels can drop, resulting in increased stresses on fish. These same conditions can trigger algal blooms which further deplete oxygen levels in bodies of water.

Maine Brook Trout Pond Survey

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recently released a summary of its 2011 Brook Trout Pond Survey. During 2011, 81 volunteer anglers logged nearly 1900 hours of time on the project. Anglers came from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont to participate in the survey.

Volunteers searched for brook trout in a total of 112 ponds, and 95 ponds were successfully surveyed from the original list of 187 ponds. Volunteers confirmed brook trout presence in 24 of the surveyed ponds and observed signs of brook trout presence in another 21 ponds.  Volunteers confirmed an absence of brook trout in 50 ponds, which is equally valuable information to fisheries biologists. The 75 ponds that were not surveyed will be added to the 2012 Pond List.

As a result of the surveys, 43 ponds were recommended for more extensive surveys by MDIFW biologists in 2012. During the summer, fisheries biologists will be assessing the status of the fish population as well as completing a depth profile and water quality analysis.

The next step in the process will be for fisheries biologists to evaluate how best to conserve these native trout populations and their habitats through appropriate management strategies.

297 new ponds are being added to the list of waters to survey in 2012. Surveys can be completed any time before September 30, 2012.

For more information about the Maine brook trout pond survey program, visit:

Or contact Amanda Moeser at (207) 781-6180 x207 or

source: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife