So I just read an article on the third lowest population of alewife ever recorded on the Great Lake of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois & Indiana. I must admit I don’t know how to speak about this topic or ask what I’m thinking, but yesterday there was a report on WISN 12 stating that many restaurants in the state are taking lake perch off their menu due to low numbers of perch. What’s going to happen 5-10 years from now? Is there a possibility that Lake Michigan waters could be completely dead a few years from now? Could there be a bounce back? It’s just such a huge body of water, how is anyone or any natural resource department going to handle this? I’m afraid that 20 years from now no fish life could be sustained thus the worlds biggest swimming pool . I’m hopeful that things change but this is getting ugly quick & it seems like no one has an answer.
The decline of bait fish
I do remember the big ones. Obviously the tails were the best part of eating smelt. But when you got into some big ones.....the tails were way too bony to chew.
Fish Hound,We use to regularly get 10 and 11 inch smelt in the UP streams we netted. The runs were incredibly heavy in the mid to late 80s. Filled coolers in minutes.
I wish I could say which streams, but promised not to ever say which ones. I've kept that promise to the point of a very good friend getting really really mad at me for not letting him in on them.
We saved the big smelt (froze them) for pike bait as the bones were too big for eating
yeh, I went deeper. It was a voluntary ban, but every GL state officially legislated amounts. Currently in Wisconsin, household detergents are no more than 0.5%. Commercial detergents (restaurants) are 8.7%. Industrial and dairy have no limits on amount. Lawn fertilizer with the exception of milorganite is not allowed to have phosphates. The Wisconsin statutes are a touch complicated. There are other restrictions related to farms as well such as manure etc.
In 1993 a law was passed banning phosphorus in laundry detergents as per Wikipedia. CARPIO
Any of you guys check out stomach content, be curious to see if any bloody red shrimp are present. Studies from Milwaukee fisheries this past year on presence and density were done. Anyone know if any data was released?
Yeah, I'm talking like mostly 4"ers last year. Eleven are some MONSTER Smelt!
That sounds like good news on the smelt front. The smaller size is also good news for me - on a purely selfish side. I have an on going bet from the late 50s with a couple of UP guys that smelt don't reach 12 inches. So far, none have shown up. 11 1/2 and 11 3/4, but no 12 inchers.
I wish the DNR would stock the Skamanias more widely. They tended to be more shoreline oriented and made for great fighting.
Pulled a fairly decent amount of smelt last fall, at least north of Milwaukee. Nothing like the old days but had some on nearly every pull and it was fun again. Smaller average size but promising none the less.
The Smelt have been gone for years.
Before the Hoan bridge was built, it was rig to rig room to net those prized fish.
there was a 10 yr hiatus on skamaniacs. They started back up in 2018 in Wisconsin putting in about 73K fish split between the Root and Manitowoc.