Ludington workshop will cover fishy topics from Asian carp to salmon stocking
Anglers, captains, and conservationists will have a chance to hear from biologists, managers, and educators at an all-day workshop on January 12. The agenda includes updates on Lake Michigan water levels, baitfish abundance, salmon management, and more.
The annual Ludington Regional Fisheries Workshop is scheduled for January 12, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Comfort Inn & Suites north of Pentwater. The workshop is offered by Michigan State University Extension in partnership with Michigan Sea Grant, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), United States Geological Survey, the University of Michigan, the Ludington Area Charterboat Association, and the Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association. The workshop is free, but there is a $10 fee for lunch, which will be collected at the door before the program begins. Contact Mary Frein to register in advance, as space is limited.
This year’s agenda features perennial topics related to the health of the Lake Michigan salmon and trout fishery along with results from recent and ongoing studies. The morning session follows up on salmon stocking discussions from last year’s workshop. Stocking levels for 2013 were set with input from stakeholders and will be adjusted in attempts to maintain balance between predator and prey species. Morning talks will focus on both the status of prey fish and efforts to increase our understanding of Chinook salmon reproduction.
The afternoon session covers a wide range of subjects including a promising, but somewhat controversial, tool for Asian carp control. Commercial harvest of carp from infested waters is being encouraged in attempts to reduce the number of fish potentially headed toward the Great Lakes. Dr. Brian Roth (MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife), who has been investigating the role that commercial fishing could play in altering Asian carp population dynamics, will present results of his work and some food for thought regarding the dilemma posed when creating markets for invasive species.
Results from the 2012 Asian carp survey of Great Lakes charter captains will be presented and provide an understanding of recent industry trends across the basin and anticipated damage from invasive species. Tracy Kolb, with MDNR, will present results from local angler creel surveys conducted in Ludington and on the Pere Marquette River. In addition to providing managers with estimates of total catch and effort, creel surveys can give anglers a feel for the best places and times to wet a line.