Salmon Ambassadors

Angler Science Project

The purpose of the Salmon Ambassadors volunteer program is to engage anglers in learning about their fishery and providing useful information on stocked and wild Chinook Salmon. Stocked Chinook Salmon in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are easy to identify thanks to a fin clip.

Volunteers check each and every Chinook Salmon caught over the course of the fishing season for a fin clip. They also carefully measure each fish and record the date and location of each catch. At the end of September, volunteers receive a short survey and request to return their completed data sheets.

Results from Past Years

Prior to the 2015 fishing season, 166 anglers had volunteered to participate in the Salmon Ambassadors program. All told, 58 anglers returned surveys at the end of the year and 34 provided useable data on 1,696 Chinook Salmon caught during the 2015 season.

Wild Chinook Salmon were the majority of the catch in most ports. Detailed results from years past can be found in these annual reports:

Resources for 2016

If you are already signed up for the Salmon Ambassadors program, the instructions and data sheet below can be inserted into the binder you received. There have been no major changes for 2016.

The only new addition to the program since 2014 is the option to collect snouts from each and every fin-clipped Chinook Salmon caught over the course of the season. We have streamlined data reporting for the few dedicated volunteers who take the extra step of returning snouts for coded wire tag (CWT) extraction.

How to Sign Up

Do you fish Lake Michigan, northern Lake Huron, or tributary streams for Chinook Salmon?

Do you regularly fish one port or river throughout the season?

Do you take at least 10-15 trips per year?

If so, please consider signing up to be a Salmon Ambassador. The video below provides more details on the program, and the resources above will get you started.

Note that you will need to contact us by e-mail and provide your name, mailing address, e-mail address, home port (or river), and number of fishing trips per year to register and receive a unique volunteer number. Without this we will have no way to contact you and track your results!

Project Partners

The Salmon Ambassadors program is a Michigan Sea Grant initiative developed in coordination with Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana DNRs, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

This program would not be possible without the effort of dedicated volunteers from organizations including Michigan Steelhead & Salmon Fishermen’s Association and Michigan Charter Boat Association.

Special thanks go out to Detroit Area Steelheaders, who provided a generous donation to support this program.