Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

DNR Anticipates Strong Season For Lake Michigan Fishery


By - Jun 23rd, 2021 11:34 am

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today anticipates a strong season for the Lake Michigan fishery based on early surveys and contacts with anglers showing successful fishing in the early part of the season.

“We are seeing really solid catches in many parts of Lake Michigan and like most years, fish will start biting even more as the summer progresses,” said Brad Eggold, DNR Great Lakes District Fisheries Supervisor. “We think 2021 will be a strong year for most salmon and trout, building on a successful 2020 season.”

Last year, Wisconsin anglers caught good numbers of steelhead, chinook and coho salmon and projections for 2021 look positive.

Over the last two years, DNR staff have worked closely with stakeholders and partners to develop the 2020-2022 Lake Michigan stocking plan to enhance fisheries management in Lake Michigan. As a part of that plan, the DNR will continue its stocking efforts in Lake Michigan and has stocked to date:

  • 50,077 brook trout (Fall 2020)
  • 411,229 brown trout
  • 1,202,183 chinook salmon
  • 514,657 coho salmon
  • 430,313 steelhead

In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stocked 45,000 lake trout into Lake Michigan this year, and more fish are planned to be stocked by the DNR this fall to meet our annual stocking goals.

In 2020, the DNR made a variety of short-term management decisions to protect the health and safety of the public and DNR staff, including altering certain initiatives in the Lake Michigan and stocking plans. Some of those initiatives, like net pens, resumed this year.

Find more information on Lake Michigan stocking efforts and management on the Lake Michigan fisheries webpage.

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