More than 20M fish stocked in Michigan annually

MARQUETTE — Michigan Department of Natural Resources fish-stocking trucks are releasing their prized recreational cargo at hundreds of lakes and streams throughout the state.

The DNR does not stock on top of wild populations when it can be avoided. However, there are instances where the combination of angling pressure and habitat limitations keep wild fish from maintaining the desired population level on their own. In those instances, hatchery fish are stocked to supplement natural reproduction.

The DNR accomplishes this work by rearing fish at its six fish production facilities throughout the state; cooperatively managing up to 29 rearing ponds and six Great Lakes imprinting net pen/pond locations, which help developing fish return to spawning waters when mature; and by maintaining a fleet of 18 specialized fish stocking vehicles.

The DNR stocks more than 20 million fish — that’s more than 350 tons of fish annually. Species stocked include steelhead; Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon and coho salmon; splake, brown trout, brook trout, lake trout and rainbow trout; as well as lake sturgeon, muskellunge and walleye.

Each spring, DNR fish stocking trucks travel well over 100,000 miles to stock more than 1,000 locations.

There are many factors that go into determining where and why fish are stocked in a particular lake or stream — it’s one of the most frequently asked questions the department receives.

Some of these factors include current habitat, available forage and predators and/or competitors in the waterbody.

Go to the DNR’s fish stocking website at MichiganDNR.com/FishStocking for information on local fish stocking locations.

In Dickinson County, walleye was the species most commonly planted in 2021, including 37,500 summer fingerlings at Lake Antoine. About 500 muskellunge were placed in the South Lake (No. 4) of the Groveland Mine Ponds.

Trout were planted at a number of Iron County lakes. There were also many plantings of walleye summer fingerlings, including 55,479 at Chicagon Lake and 30,690 at Hagerman Lake.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today