DNR happy with fish stocking program

LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources in December 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.

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.

Lakes stocked in Mecosta County include walleye at Chippewa Lake, brown trout in the Little Muskegon River along with rainbow trout and walleye at Pretty Lake.

Lakes stocked in Osceola County include rainbow trout at Central Lake, brown trout in the Middle Branch River and walleye in Rose Lake.

The focus at Lake County were various spots along the Pere Marquette River for brown trout, including the Upper Branch Bridge, Rainbow Rapids, Cannons, Bowman’s ride and Macdougalls.

For Newaygo County, stock locations are walleye at Baptist Lake, rainbow trout at Condon Lake and brown trout, walleye and rainbow trout at various spots of the Muskegon River. Other spots include walleye at Nichols Lake, walleye at Pickeral Lake, brown trout at the South Branch White River and brown trout and rainbow trout at Tamarack Creek.