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
They are still being stocked.
I believe you are referring to the Skamania strain of Rainbow. A spectacular fighting fish that more than earned it's nickname "Sakmaniac". I haven't seen any being caught in several years and heard the DNR stopped stocking them Don't know if that true, but it would be interesting to know why if it is.
The only trout/salmon species I have caught that has not ate gobies is the king. The trout/ salmon that will remain are the ones eating insects, gobies and blood schrimp. When coho key on them it looks like they have been eating pulled pork. Lakers are spitting up gobies when you catch them. My understanding is that gobies will eat the small mussels. King's pretty much eat alewife and the alewife diet leaves the Lakers with a nutritional deficiency.
I enjoy the lake trout. I know the silver fisherman don't. I don't see the glory days of king fishing returning.
They didn't ban it. They learned how and implemented methods for removal from waste water (food processing, sewage treatment). Milorganite is an example from sewage treatment.
The lake started clearing up many ( 40?) years ago when a law? Was passed banning phosphorus in detergents. CARPIO Maybe we should start dumping it back in. Lol. CARPIO
I'm wrong. It's not farmers (clean water act). It's the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the US and Canada in the 70s and later the Clean Water Action Plan by the EPA in late 90s. Agricultural runoff is still a problem in Green Bay and Lake Erie. It was the other point loads such as sewage (detergents etc) that have been dealt with by the plans mentioned above that contributed to lower phosphorous load in Lake Michigan.
X, regarding your comment...
Lake productivity is low for two main reasons: the mussels and the massively decreased nutrient loading from the farms (clean water act).
I haven't heard that. I thought the Fox river / Green Bay was still seeing too much phosphorus from the farms......because the clean water act doesn't address farmers.
Or am I wrong?
kind of funny seeing alewives considered a baitfish, when they first showed up they were considered an invasive and a nuisance, with beaches being closed down with tons of dead ones piled up on the beach
the salmon were brought in to control their numbers since the lamprey had all but wiped out the lake trout... full circle?
we use to catch rainbows off the jetties by Grant park... many moons ago
Another thought ... most of the year Rainbow strains stocked are out on the (scum line) turnover and can only be reached by boat, it kinda leaves out the shore fisherman.
Years ago theDNR fisheries stocked a strain of rainbow that showed up along the Wisconsin shorelines, just like clockwork , between late July and August. For some reason that strain was discontinued ... anyone know?
Those were some fun days, driving down to the end of the road, slipping on a pair of waders and out to the sand bars with light spinning gear.