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DNR surveys opposition to salmon cuts

A proposal to reduce salmon stocking in Lake Michigan has upset some sport fishermen. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is polling members of an advisory committee to see how strong opposition is to the plan.

Millions of Chinook, or king, salmon have been planted in Lake Michigan since the 1960s. As many as seven million fish were planted one year, which created a booming sport fishery.

Now there is not much food for salmon in the lake, so fewer fish are being stocked. Anglers have supported cuts to stocking numbers in the past, but the latest proposal would drop the number of king salmon stocked in Lake Michigan to less than 700,000. Some sport fishermen say there will hardly be a salmon fishery left after that and want other options considered. Some want to cut the number lake trout being planted in the lake instead.

A committee of representatives from Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois and a group of Indian tribes, who operate by consensus, makes the final decision.

Peter Payette is the Executive Director of Interlochen Public Radio.