MARQUETTE - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host two public meetings in July to gather input on proposed walleye management guidelines for the Northern Lake Michigan Management Unit.
The draft walleye management guidelines will help direct future management of walleye fisheries in northern Lake Michigan and the lakes and rivers contained within the Lake Michigan basin of the Upper Peninsula.
Establishing management guidelines allows the DNR to coordinate the purpose and direction of walleye management activities throughout the unit.
The proposed walleye management guidelines build on a foundation of previous public input by citizen committees and angling groups, and incorporate the latest in walleye management science. Detailed information on the biology and management needs of walleye, as well as specific strategies and actions for future management of walleye populations and habitat, can be found in the draft plan.
"Walleye management and stocking efforts underwent some major changes in the past few years, due to the discovery of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), a fatal infectious fish disease, in the Great Lakes region," said Jessica Mistak, fisheries supervisor of the DNR's Northern Lake Michigan Management Unit. "Walleye stocking in our inland lakes was put on hold until research on the disease and its potential impact on our hatcheries could be completed. We've recently been given the go-ahead to resume stocking walleye in our inland lakes, and these guidelines will play an important role in how we move forward with walleye management in the Northern Lake Michigan Management Unit."
Interested parties are encouraged to attend upcoming public input meetings to review the draft guidelines and provide public comment. The dates, times and locations of the meetings are as follows:
-Wednesday, July 13, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time), Escanaba DNR Pocket Park, 2401 12th Ave. N., Escanaba
-Wednesday, July 20, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Central time), Dickinson County Library, 401 Iron Mountain St., Iron Mountain.
The draft guidelines can be found online at www.michigan.gov/fishpublicinput. Public comment will be accepted through Aug. 3, and may be submitted by email to DNR-NLMMU-Walleye@michigan.gov, or by regular mail to DNR Fisheries Division, 6833 US Highway 2, Gladstone, MI, 49837.
For more information, contact Jessica Mistak at (906) 786-2351, ext. 127.