2017-04-13 / Outdoors

Local fisheries add nearly 60,000 trout


A SMALL group of community members were on hand to guide lake trout into north Lake Leelanau on Monday near Houdek Creek. A SMALL group of community members were on hand to guide lake trout into north Lake Leelanau on Monday near Houdek Creek. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Division has delivered a big boost to county fisheries in the past nine days.

The DNR stocked a total of 59,540 trout—36,600 brown trout and 22,940 lake trout—in that stretch.

Brown trout made their way into Lake Michigan from The Homestead Resort (15,700) and Good Harbor Bay (20,900) on April 4 before lake trout swam into Glen Lake (14,840) and Lake Leelanau (8,100) on Monday.

Heather Hettinger, a fisheries biologist with the DNR, said the brown trout plantings were part of an effort to increase angler opportunities in Leelanau and Benzie counties.

“We’re trying to create a section of coastline with decent numbers of brown trout to create a springtime, small-boat, nearshore fishery from Frankfort to Leland,” Hettinger said. “Last year was the first year we started putting the fish in the bays up here. Already, we’re seeing that anglers in Frankfort and Platte Bay are catching bigger brown trout and the small fish from last year’s stocking. If you have an inclination that you want to get into brown trout fishing, keep an eye on it in the next couple years.”

Hettinger said the Glen Lake planting will add to what has been a steady lake trout fishery through the years, both in open water and through the ice.

The north Lake Leelanau planting, meanwhile, is a bit more in question.

“I’ve talked about this to a number of folks in Leelanau County: walleye predation increasing in the north lake,” she said. “On that same note, it’s a small stocking—8,000 fish isn’t a ton—and we do see folks catching fish. I’ve asked people to send me reports of lake trout catches and I would encourage them to continue. The ones that are making it through are providing a little bit of an opportunity for anglers. 

"That’s one we’ll keep an eye on.”

Hettinger said the bulk of plantings is done for the year, although Glen Lake may receive more rainbow trout before 2017 comes to a close.

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