Stocking Fish

The Future of Salmon and Trout Stocking in Lake Michigan

Five species of salmon and trout support a world-class recreational fishery in Lake Michigan. Stocking has played an important role in maintaining the balance between predators and forage fish, such as the non-native alewife, since the late 1960s. If too many salmon and trout are in the lake, forage fish decline and salmon starve or fall prey to disease. If too few salmon and trout are in the lake, the non-native alewife could foul beaches and affect native species populations.


Survey results are now available and are being considered along with biological data and other factors as managers move toward a decision on future stocking policy.

See: Survey Results

Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Workshop 2012
This half-day workshop was free and open to the public. Participants learned more about specific options for stocking policy and had the opportunity to speak with fisheries managers about the future of Lake Michigan fisheries. Check out the recorded webinar for more details.


Additional Resources


2013 Salmon Stocking Strategy

Jay Wesley of MDNR discusses the lakewide decision and stocking reductions at Michigan locations.

Lake Michigan Prey Fish 2011

Dr. Chuck Madenjian discusses the latest data on the decline of alewife in Lake Michigan.

Evaluating Stocking Options

Steve Robillard of the Illinois DNR presents four options for reducing stocking in Lake Michigan.

Status of Lake Michigan Salmon and Forage Fish

Jay Wesley, Acting Basin Coordinator for the Michigan DNR, discusses the status of Chinook salmon and forage fish in Lake Michigan.

Searching for a Good Stocking Policy

Dr. Michael Jones of Michigan State University presents an overview of a decision analysis project that will help fisheries biologists, managers and anglers evaluate how changes to stocking policy might affect salmon, trout and baitfish in Lake Michigan.