Lake herring restoration is being considered for Lake Michigan

Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on

Published in Outdoors

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires the approval of states, Bronte said, before it proceeds with any stocking plan.

And scientists from the region have yet to agree on a lake herring strain or strains to use in any restoration effort.

One project has started, however: The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in Michigan is conducting a stocking experiment with lake herring eggs obtained from Grand Traverse Bay.

And in Lake Huron, lake herring have been stocked for the last two years in Saginaw Bay.

Fisheries researchers and managers will be watching closely to see the results of the work done by the band and in Lake Huron.

In the meantime, the Lake Michigan Committee is scheduled to consider a white paper on lake herring restoration at its meeting in March.

And the Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum will likely add a presentation on lake herring restoration to its spring meeting, said Titus Seilheimer, forum moderator.

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Even the most ambitious stocking program is unlikely to restore lake herring to their previous abundance in Lake Michigan.

But if a careful, science-based restoration effort of this native species could even partially fill the void in the lake's food web, it would be good.

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