|Sept. 21, 2023
Contact: Jeremiah Blaauw, 906-235-7679
Fishing opportunities abound, with more than 9 million fish stocked so far in 2023
|More than 269 tons of fish, eight different species, plus one hybrid, and a total of 9,335,410 individual fish – it all adds up to successful spring and summer stocking efforts by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and some great fall fishing for anglers.
Stocking is no small task. Over the course of 2,233 hours and more than 89,000 miles, DNR fisheries crews in 17 specialized trucks took 375 trips to stock fish at 705 different sites.
“We had excellent spring and summer stocking seasons that will bring significant benefits and fishing opportunities to Michigan anglers,” said Ed Eisch, DNR fish production manager. “With the hard work and dedication of our staff, healthy, high-quality fish were reared and delivered to stocking sites in excellent condition. The numbers produced and stocked were right on target for most areas.”
The number and type of fish produced varies by hatchery, as each location’s ability to rear fish depends on the source and temperature of the rearing water. In Michigan there are six state and two cooperative hatcheries that work together to produce the species, strain and size of fish needed for fisheries managers. These fish must then be delivered and stocked at a specific time and location to ensure their success.
|Each hatchery stocked the following fish this spring and summer:
- Marquette State Fish Hatchery (near Marquette) stocked 341,423 yearling lake trout, brook trout and splake (a hybrid of lake trout and brook trout) that in total weighed 41,771 pounds. This hatchery stocked 98 inland and Great Lakes sites.
- Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 997,431 fish that included yearling steelhead and spring fingerling Chinook salmon. These fish weighed 78,659 pounds in total. This hatchery stocked 54 sites (the majority located on the Great Lakes).
- Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 679,488 yearling brown trout and rainbow trout that weighed 96,372 pounds. This hatchery stocked 123 inland and Great Lakes sites.
- Harrietta State Fish Hatchery (in Harrietta) stocked 780,654 yearling brown trout, Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout that in total weighed 95,751 pounds. This hatchery stocked 228 sites (the majority located inland).
- Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 2,350,685 fish that included yearling Atlantic salmon and coho salmon and spring fingerling Chinook salmon that in total weighed 158,038 pounds. This hatchery stocked 48 sites (the majority located on the Great Lakes).
- Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (near Kalamazoo) stocked 1,469,465 fish that included yearling steelhead, yearling muskellunge and spring fingerling Chinook salmon that in total weighed 121,467 pounds. Wolf Lake also stocked 11,473 channel catfish obtained from the Ohio DNR (weighing 2,828 pounds), as well as 33,679 Skamania steelhead (weighing 3,511 pounds). This hatchery stocked 49 sites (the majority located on the Great Lakes).
- A cooperative teaching hatchery at Lake Superior State University (in Sault Saint Marie) stocked 28,646 Atlantic salmon weighing 2,510 pounds into the St. Marys River.
Included in this year’s total fish stocked were 2.7 million walleye spring fingerlings, fish that were reared in ponds by the DNR and tribal partners with extensive support provided by local sporting organizations. These fish were stocked at 90 inland lakes and rivers and Lake Michigan.
Fish stocking is a critical DNR activity. These efforts help support a Great Lakes fishery valued at more than $7 billion.
Fish are reared in Michigan’s state fish hatcheries anywhere from one month to 1 ½ years before they are stocked.
It should be noted that some hatcheries will provide fish for a few additional stockings (consisting of brook trout, rainbow trout, coho salmon, walleye, lake sturgeon and muskellunge) to be made this fall. The lake sturgeon will come from the cooperative hatchery in Tower, Michigan, that is operated with Michigan State University.
The public is welcome at any of Michigan’s state fish hatcheries to see firsthand the fish rearing process. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/Hatcheries.
Learn more about fishing opportunities, management and resources – including the DNR’s Fish Stocking Database, showing where many of these fish were stocked – at Michigan.gov/Fishing.