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Michigan Lends Indiana Brown Trout Program a Hand
Michigan Ag Connection - 04/11/2018

A cooperative arrangement with surrounding states helped save Indiana's annual stocking of brown trout into Lake Michigan and Trail Creek this year.

Indiana has historically received brown trout from Illinois in return for providing that state with Skamania steelhead. However, production shortages in Illinois this year required Indiana to reach out to Michigan. Michigan has agreed to provide 40,000 brown trout as 6-inch fingerlings in April.

"This type of cooperation is a great way to ensure the mutual success of all states managing Lake Michigan," said Brian Breidert, Lake Michigan fisheries biologist with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Of the 40,000 brown trout, 30,000 fish will be stocked at the East Chicago marina. The remaining 10,000 will be released into Trail Creek, a Lake Michigan tributary.

Indiana will also release up to 75,000 chinook salmon in 2018, which is up from the 60,000 the year before. All the chinooks will have their adipose fin clipped under the USFWS mass marking program.

The moderate chinook increase comes as the state has reduced stocking of fingerling steelhead trout in the fall. Those fall steelhead fingerlings experienced less than desirable survival rates.

All other stockings of steelhead and coho salmon remain unchanged from previous years.

The chinook increase will still keep Indiana under the 2016 stocking quotas agreed upon by the state agencies involved in managing Lake Michigan. This consensus-based decision making has been the cornerstone for Lake Michigan management for more than 50 years.

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