Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

dnr report(tuesday meeting)

1307 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Captain
Great meeting, learned alot about what our lake huron fish are doing and going. Expect alot of what u saw last year in terms of size and numbers, and hope the elewives survived this winter. Expect perch and walleye fishing to great in the coming years. And once the spawning season is over for smelt go deep and North. Come-on warm weather!!!
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Just what did our good ole' buddies at the DNR meeting say about thoses dead salmon on the bottom of Huron last summer? .....and great to know that we should expect crappy salmon and trout fishing from now on on Lake Huron{SARCASIM}. That is if the numbers and sizes are just like last year. So should we expect more dead salmonin the summer and no planting of trout at Lexington. Also, should we expect the DNR to do nothing but use general BS excuses again about how they must dimminish our Salmon and trout numbers in Lake Huron?
Originally posted by Salmonous Maximus
Just what did our good ole' buddies at the DNR meeting say about thoses dead salmon on the bottom of Huron last summer?

Salmon I am not positive but it is my understanding that the scenario that you are referring to was a rumor and not reality!
I agree with n.e. the dead salmon thing has never been confirmed just one bad rumur.I don't think that salmon season was all that bad last year,yes the fish ran small,and things started much slower then in most years ,my numbers were way down for my spring fishing out of Lexington and my mid summer fishing out of Port Austin was poorer then most,but by August the salmon showed up in good numbers at Oscoda,yes the salmon ran small I did not take a fish over 20# out of Lake Huron last year,and few over 15#,but still had a blast catching smaller salmon.
I'm very optimistic about this coming year be better than last. Look at Lake Michigan in the late 80's and early 90's all the anglers over there were singing the blues,now Lake Michigan is back,I'm optimistic that Lake Huron will come back as well.Till then I still enjoy catching the 6 to 12 pound fish Lake Huron has to offer, there better table fare anyways.If I want more sceamers then eaters I'll head west to Lake Michigan. Were very spoiled here in Michigan how many places in the world fishing fresh water can you go where the fish average what they do in Lake HURON.
Hang in there buddie Lake HURON will be back till then we have LAKE MICHIGAN.
See less See more
What would you have the DNR do? Should they stop planting Salmon and start planting baitfish, so the Salmon that do exist have more to eat?
How would you manage the forage base in a lake the size of Lake Huron - which is the 3rd largest lake in the World?

I do not necessarily agree with everything the DNR does, but at least I disagree with things I think there might be a better solution for. You just seem to want to complain about small fish and blame it on the DNR for some reason.
I went to Tuesday's MSSC meeting in which Head DNR Bioliogist Jim Johnson spoke. Here's the gist:

1) he hadn't received the total survey numbers for the Thumb-Lexington yet.

2) the major reason for lack of salmon in Southern Lake Huron was the lack of baitfish.

3) adult alewife numbers were gravely down in 2003 due to winter die-off.

4) salmon are true predators and care about nothing but food. Since there was no alewife in S. Lk. Huron, they went to where the bait was. Drummond Island/Detour had their best year ever.

5) USGS trawling numbers of alewife in the fall of 2003 were huge. But these were "young of the year" alewife (adults spawn in July) and are extremely affected by winter temps.

6) the 2004 season will be determined by the survial of these young alewife. In essence.... a hard winter = a die-off.

7) conversely, low alewife numbers mean an increase in smelt and bloater numbers, which means the salmon will have food...but the fish will not be is same locations you always fish for them.

8) additionally, the low alewife numbers have equated to huge number of young walleye and perch numbers in Saginaw Bay (alewife eat baby smelt, etc....).

9) the total number of salmon caught has greatly increased on Lake Huron every year since the 80's. And although 2003 was a downer year, it still will be above number back in the 80's.

10) over the past 3 years, over 80% of the fish caught and surveyed on Lk. Huron WERE NOT STOCKED FISH. They are reproducing naturally- mostly likely in Canadian streams.

11) these elevated numbers of salmon and the alewife crash of 2003 create smaller fish.

12) the DNR has not and will not cut the number of plantings for a couple more years until they are certain that this natural reproduction will continue.

13) over 80% of the tagged/stocked Lake Huron salmon were caught/reported in Lk Michigan. LESSON: the salmon go where the bait is......

14) there was no die-off or kidney diease of salmon in Lk Huron.

15) a salmon with scales that stick out and/or rub off easily will likely have the kidney disease. Puss pockets form behind the scale thus pushing it out. Any strange occurences should be reported to DNR Jim Johnson of Roger City.

16) the grass carp in already in Lk Huron but is having great difficulties in reproducing due to our dammed streams.

17) the DNR is hog-tied on controlling the cormarant. They (and the Dept of Interior) are being sued by the Humane Soceity and other groups.

18) the discharge of frieghter ballis is supposed to be controlled by the EPA. The EPA doesn't want anything to due with it, so the DNR is sueing the EPA to regulate the discharge.

There was a great deal of other information; it was very informative. The basic message was....if you went catching salmon, it was because the salmon were not there. There was low alewife numbers and the fish were moving to wherever the alewife were. 2004 could be a great year if the young alewife survived the winter.

Lastly, on a side note...do not bash the DNR unless you know all the facts. The DNR's annual budget is well below where it should be. They have a small number of personell trying to manage a giant ecosystem. They need help from fishermen with providing samples, reporting information, etc... If fishermen learned how to assist the DNR in reporting fish catches, etc... the DNR reports would be much more accurate.

I know some of the DNR's fustration first hand...my fiancee works the summer with the DNR Fisheries Dept on St.Clair. Last summer the DNR was doing a study to ID a new virus attacking muskie. They needed muskie fishermen in collecting 100 muskie in one day to ship out to Wisconsin. All the muskie fishermen had to do was to get a permit at the South River Office so that they could catch as many and any sized muskie. Well, after giving over a months notice...only a couple of boats showed up. In return, since they didn't reach the minimum 100 muskie, the study never took place.

This story along with the bass fishermen hitting the smallmouth pre-spawn are just a couple of examples. Is the DNR perfect...no. Will it ever be...no. But we as fishermen cannot point the finger if we've never lifted a finger..............
See less See more
great post trippin dipsey's
Great info dipsey, but don't tell me to lighten up on the DNR when I see some of the things I have seen in the past few years from this department. Plus, when I ask them questions via email or in person about the Lexington rainbow trout plants (aka steelhead), I don't get any answers. A few officers up there in Lexington are also very ingorant, and are making fools of themselves. I just have not had any reason to say anything good about the DNR is all I am saying. I am an honest fisherman, and I just hope to continue to fish the Thumb in the near future with continued success. The DNR seems to be no help to the fishery in the Thumb, for WHATEVER reason. Funding, lack of baitfish, .....whatever........if you put your mind and some money to it, you can achieve anything. I JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN DAMNIT!
Terrific report Trippin!!!! Thanks for taking the time to put it down in writing...

Salmonous- I understand your frustration, but can't agree with you characterization of the DNR. They can't/won't ever be able to satisfy everyone. I think they do an ADEQUATE job despite many limitations (politics & lack of money).
Hey Chad, I know Amber must of been there to take all of those detailed notes for ya....
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.