Lake Michigan Salmanoid

Sal·mo·nid: a fish of the salmon family

Lake Michigan and its tributaries support a diverse fish community of both resident and migratory species. Potamodromous salmon and trout were introduced in the 1960’s in part to control the explosive population growth of invasive alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and to provide a sport fishery. These introduced Pacific salmon and trout species such as Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (O. kisutch), rainbow trout (O. mykiss) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) have adapted to the new ecosystem and created a major sport and charter fishing industry. The initial stocking of coho salmon occurred in 1966 and Chinook salmon in 1967. These species feed almost exclusively on alewife and helped control their abundance (Dettmers et al. 2012). To sustain a successful fishery and balance the predator-prey base agencies around the lake have developed well-planned stocking programs for salmon and trout. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has three egg collection facilities to raise fingerling and yearling fish that are annually stocked in various tributaries (Burzynski 2014)