Could the sounds of spawning lure lake trout?

Lake trout make noise in bed, according to new research by Great Lakes scientists.

The species commonly growl, snap, quiver and thump while spawning, according to a study in the “Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.”

The report may cause a smirk, but researchers say the findings are serious.

“Peeping on spawning lake trout with a camera and microphone could be the premise of an interesting comedy skit, but also makes for interesting science that could help improve how fish populations are monitored,” said Nick Johnson, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists could potentially use the audio sounds to lure fish to spawning areas, Johnson said.

Lake Trout

Lake Trout

“If you walk down the street and hear a party going you might want to check it out,” he said. “There are historical reefs in the Great Lakes that are no longer being used for spawning . . . we may be able to play back the sounds of reproduction to lure in the trout and try to get them interested in spawning there.”

Johnson led a team that included researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Windsor and the University of Vermont, and that recorded spawning lake trout with cameras and hydrophones. Hydrophones are underwater microphones that detect the sounds of boats, waves and the quietest fish.

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Charter fishing operations offer great options for novice and experienced anglers

For those who don’t have a fishing boat, may not have the correct fishing gear, don’t know how to fish, are new to an area, or are just looking for a day of fun, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests considering a charter fishing trip. Charter fishing businesses are located throughout the state and offer a great way to experience Michigan’s world-class fisheries.

Lake Erie walleye charter aboard the Stray Cat Monroe, MI 48145

Sam walleye fishing Lake Erie

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half-day of fishing easy and enjoyable, as they provide the boat and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a day on the water. Fishing charters are for anyone, children or adult, from the first-time angler to those who are experienced. Charter businesses in Michigan help anglers of all experience levels enjoy memorable experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying one’s hand at catching a new species.

In Michigan in 2016, more than 70,000 anglers participated in more than 17,000 charter fishing trips on Great Lakes and specific navigable waters. These anglers caught more than 244,000 fish of various species, with about half of the fish caught being trout and salmon.

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DNR creel clerks to collect angler information this summer

As this year’s open-water fishing season gets under way, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that Fisheries Division personnel are at lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports collecting fishing data from anglers.

Giant Lake Erie Pike

Monster Lake Erie Northern Pike aboard the Stray Cat

DNR creel clerks will be stationed at boat launches and piers around the state asking anglers questions as they return from fishing trips. Information will be requested on trip length, target species and number and type of fish caught. In some cases, creel clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and to take scale or other body parts for aging. These data are key information in the DNR’s management of the state’s fisheries resource.

The DNR appreciates anglers’ cooperation with these interviews, and it will only take a couple of minutes to answer the questions.

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Michigan 2016 Spring fishing seasons opening soon

We’re just days away from the opening of numerous Michigan fishing seasons:

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip

Trevor with a Lake Erie walleye and Muskie

Bass Catch & Keep Season: Starts May 28 on all waters including Great Lakes
  Starts June 18 on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair & Detroit Rivers
Muskellunge, Northern Pike &   Walleye:              Starts April 30 on Lower Peninsula inland waters
  Starts May 15 on Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters & St. Mary’s River
Statewide Salmon & Trout Season:
 
Starts April 30 on (inland) type 1 & 2 streams and type A & D lakes

Walleye and Perch fishing should be very good in 2016

Time to book a walleye and perch fishing trip

 The daily bag limit will be six walleye from May 1 through Feb. 28, 2017.

A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season for walleye. The yellow perch daily bag limit will be 30 from May 1 through April 30, 2017, with no minimum size limit. Lake Erie anglers can find walleye and yellow perch bag limit information at ODNR offices, in special publications at bait and tackle shops and at wildohio.gov.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources points out that walleye and yellow perch fisheries in Lake Erie are managed by a quota system that involves Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as Ohio. Ohio’s catch limits are set after the state gets allocations from the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Walleye


Lake Erie charter fishing Stray Cat Fishing Charter Lake Erie, Michigan

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter

Ohio walleye anglers will catch fish mostly from the 2014 and 2013 hatches, with some fish from the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 year classes. Additional fish from 2007 and 2003 will also be harvested by anglers. Walleye from the average 2014 hatch will range from 15-18 inches, while walleye from the 2013 hatch will be between 16-20 inches. Fish from the 2003 and 2007 hatches are likely to carry most of the Central Basin fisheries, and a good number of these walleye will be over the 26-inch range. Large walleye from strong hatch in 2003 will continue to provide “Fish Ohio” opportunities (greater than 28 inches), with this year class nearing the size that may give Ohio a new state record walleye. Additionally, in 2016, anglers should see a number of smaller (less than 15 inches) fish from the excellent 2015 hatch.

Yellow Perch


Derek with a Lake Erie double perch

Lake Erie double perch

Expect good perch fishing in 2016, with improving numbers of fish in the Western Basin. Perch anglers should encounter fish ranging from 7 to 13 inches from the 2014 through 2008 hatches this year, with major contributions from the 2014, 2011 and 2008 year classes. Fish from the average-to-better hatches in 2007 will contribute fish in the 10-plus inch range.

“In 2015, yellow perch fisheries flourished in the eastern portions of Ohio’s Lake Erie, and we expect this trend to continue into 2016,” said Jeff Tyson, Lake Erie fishing program administrator.

Belle Isle Michigan’s 102nd State Park

Belle Isle Park continues to make its mark as Michigan’s 102nd state park

Belle Isle Park – Detroit’s gem and Michigan’s 102nd state park – offers four seasons of enjoyment and wonderment for visitors from around the state, the nation and the world. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Belle Isle Conservancy, the city of Detroit, Detroit citizens and many partners from all around the state have worked tirelessly to revitalize the island.

Belle Isle Park, a 985-acre island park located in the Detroit River near downtown Detroit, is rich with natural beauty and historical and cultural resources. It is home to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, a golf course, the James Scott Memorial Fountain and many other popular leisure and recreational activities. In addition to Belle Isle attracting 3.8 million visitors to the island this past year, here are other highlights:

Belle Isle feature video

View the new 60-second video showcasing Belle Isle. Experience the park’s most popular attractions and outdoor recreation opportunities, and discover why Belle Isle is a gem of Detroit and Michigan.

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Don’t allow fish farms in Michigan waters

03-03-2016

By Howard A. Tanner                                                                

One of my frustrations in my retirement has been a difficulty in speaking out on issues that are of some concern to me. Being 92 has its limitations – but my friends assure me, it’s not limited my expertise.

But I’m speaking out today to express my strong opposition to aquaculture in the waters and connecting rivers of the Great Lakes – including the Au Sable River.

When I think of Michigan’s latest infatuation with aquaculture – be it in Grayling on the Au Sable River, or in the Great Lakes – I am reminded of a saying: Some people learn from their mistakes. Smart people learn from the mistakes of others.

There are many mistakes to learn from when it comes to using our public waters as the sewers for private companies raising and selling fish. All around the globe, fish farming in public waters has led to water pollution, spread of fish disease, and widespread opposition by those who have to live with the visual pollution and other consequences of fish farming.

We here in Michigan have labored for sixty years to make our lakes clean. We are leaders of all matters related to the Great Lakes. Half the population of Michigan gets its water from the Great Lakes, part of 30 million people in the basin who rely on the lakes for drinking water. Maintaining the cleanliness of this water should be the top priority for state and federal officials.

The phosphate emissions from the fish in one net pen operation is the equivalent of the phosphate emissions from a sewer plant for 10,000 people. This fish sewage will create filamentous algae, which will wash up on nearby beaches, rot and stink. If this is going to be a $1 billion industry, as advocates say, there will be about 100 net pen operations, filling virtually every bay of any size in Michigan’s portion of the Great Lakes. Imagine one in Grand Traverse Bay, or in front of the Grand Hotel, or in the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix.

Already, the lakes are under pressure, with algae blooms from high phosphorous levels (the kind virtually guaranteed to grow with fish farming) creating toxins forcing closure of water intakes in cities including Cleveland and Toledo in recent years. Will Rogers once counseled wise men should drink upstream from the herd – but many of Michigan’s major cities would be downstream from this herd of fish.

Any mistakes in the Great Lakes are uncorrectable. People advocating for aquaculture talk about adaptive management – when they make a mistake, they will correct it. But in a huge area, you can’t make a correction.

And the impact of a mistake on a river like the Au Sable could easily damage the river, and its economic potential, for generations. The addition of more than 1,500 pounds of algae-creating phosphorous a year from the proposed Grayling fish farm will be devastating to the river’s ecosystem.

People have learned this the hard way in Norway and in Chile, where massive net penning operations have collapsed financially. As can easily be expected when you put that many animals into a confined area, the fish farms have introduced diseases into the natural population. Today, the natural Atlantic Salmon fishery in the North Atlantic is shrinking. It’s an ecological disaster.

These same patterns are seen in flow-through fish farms, such as the one being developed on the Au Sable. They all do the same thing – they make no pretense of treating the fecal and urine matter of a large number of animals. They discharge that matter into the public water – our drinking water, for many communities on the Great Lakes.

I know these issues well. I grew up in Bellaire, and guided anglers on the Chain O’ Lakes. I fished the “Holy Waters” with George Griffiths, and stayed at his beloved “Barbless Hook” on the banks of Au Sable.

I studied fish and their habitats – including an experiment where I looked into the impact of adding nutrients to six lakes. My conclusion: This was a big mistake. And I was part of a team that introduced salmon into the Great Lakes.

So it’s with a love of Michigan’s great waters, experience as a scientist and teacher and the understanding of the pressures facing regulators gained through a long career with the Department of Natural Resources that I speak today.

Michigan shouldn’t be inviting any industry into our state that says, “don’t make us treat our waste. Let us dump it into your fresh water.”

You wouldn’t put a pigpen in a rose garden. It’s just common sense.

Don’t put fish farms on our rivers or in our Great Lakes. It’s just common sense.

bridgemi.com/2016/03/dont-allow-fish-farms-in-michigan-waters

Two Rivers area shipwrecks explored

The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute’s R/V Dawn Treader is mostly full of scuba-diving equipment with two maritime archeologists and three volunteer divers from Madison squished in between. They came to Manitowoc County to survey the S.C. Baldwin shipwreck, a requirement to add the vessel to the state, and eventually national, Register of Historic Places.

“(Shipwrecks) are literal time capsules, a snapshot of what was going on at that specific moment in time,” volunteer diver Matt Schultz said.

Lake Michigan shipwreck

Lake Michigan shipwreck

Built in 1871, the Baldwin is believed to be the first double-decker steamer on the Great Lakes and carried iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan, to Milwaukee. It was later converted into a barge hauling coal, lumber and eventually stone.

The 160-foot-long vessel unknowingly left on its final voyage in 1908. Carrying 693 tons of stone, the barge was hit by strong winds and waves, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Nearing Kewaunee about midnight, the Baldwin sprung a leak and “turned turtle” at about 2:30 a.m. near Rawley Point lighthouse.

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Fishing Report Lake Erie, walleye – perch, Monroe Michigan 07-23-2015

Walleye fishing has really picked up this past week, thanks to a steady weather pattern. Many limit catches have been taken  all week from “E” buoy to the Raisin River in 22 feet of water. Wiggle warts have been good off the planner boards keeping small walleye (spikes) from biting 70 to 80 feet back in 22 feet of water. Spoons and divers seem to be taking the bigger walleye and more walleye spikes. I like running wiggle warts they are a lot more forgiving on speed and like to be run from 2.2 to 2.7 mph. If your not catching speed up a little at a time till you hit that sweet spot. I was catching some nice eye’s hear and there earlier in the week and starting tapping the throttle a little bit at a time next thing I knew all heck broke lose with a triple then a double. Also cock the angle of your troll a few degrees and that can trigger a bite on both sides of your boat. Caught a few very large walleye near the Michigan, Ohio boarder. Some of the guy’s I talked to this week were casting and dragging crawler harness’s did good on the day’s we enough breeze for a good drift.

Be careful about crossing over into Ohio, the Ohio DNR CO”s have been patrolling the boarder often. Make sure you have a valid Ohio fishing license, and your only allowed 2 rods per person.

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip

Trevor with a Lake Erie walleye and Muskie

Perch fishing has been crazy good off the edges of the Raisin River channel, Bolles Harbor and out in front of Brest Bay in 20 to 24 feet of water. With many limit catches one can afford to do a little sorting while fishing. The only problem the guy’s were having was finding a good steady supply of the right size minnows. All in all it really didn’t matter because the perch have been so aggressive. If you have an Ohio license McDonald’s area has been a sure bet for a limit catch but remember the limit is 30 per person.

Monroe County Michigan Huron River gets steelhead fish plant from DNR

 Steve VanDerLaan is a busy guy this time of year.

As the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ statewide fish-stocking biologist, it’s VanDerLaan’s job to get the annual hatchery production – in the vicinity of 18 million fish weighing 395 tons – out to the state’s lakes and streams during a roughly eight-week window.

Stocking events often turn into a show as interested anglers arrive at stocking sites to see their future quarry. One of the trucks recently brought 32,000 steelhead to the Huron River in Monroe County, one of two deliveries made to the site. About two dozen spectators – several who pitched in to help DNR personnel hook up the discharge tubes – were on hand. Many were members of area fishing clubs, several of whom brought shotguns and cracker shells to haze any cormorants or gulls that might have come by looking for easy pickings.

             Steve Vanderlaan1 year old Steelhead Salmon stocking in the Huron River at Rockwood. READ MORE