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E-M:/ Lake Gogebic Fisheries Assessment in Final Phase

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

March 27, 2006

Contacts: George Madison 906-353-6651 or Ann Wilson 906-228-6561                                                          

Lake Gogebic Fisheries Assessment in Final Phase

The Department of Natural Resources will conclude its assessment of fish populations in Lake Gogebic this spring. George Madison, Western Upper Peninsula fisheries supervisor, said that creel census data collected over the past year will be compiled with the results to be released later this summer.

"The assessment of Lake Gogebic could not have been done without the terrific support of the anglers who fish that lake," Madison said. "Our creek census clerk has collected a large volume of data from those who came forward with information, and we are anxious to compile everything for presentation to the public."

Fisheries personnel began netting fish and recording data in the spring of 2005. The netting effort sampled the entire fish community, including walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and smallmouth bass. The majority of the netting occurred during the spring spawning season, when fish were clipped and tagged with jaw bands. The tagging effort allowed the creel census clerk, who worked on the lake during the summer boating and winter ice fishing seasons, to collect data from anglers on how many tagged versus untagged fish were being caught. A June 2005 netting effort was also conducted to collect early summer biological factors for the lake, including water chemistry, aquatic vegetation and additional fish community assessment.

The creel census program will conclude on March 31, 2006, although anglers who catch jaw-tagged fish are asked to report these fish to the DNR through the Web site (www.michigan.gov/dnr ) or to area businesses.

Beginning in late April, the DNR will conduct an additional netting survey for a period of five days which will be for the purpose of collecting biological data on the walleye population during this spring's spawning period. The 2006 netting effort will help to refine data numbers with respect to the walleye population size and spawning areas. 

A comprehensive summary of this large lake survey will occur in the coming months. Following the completion of the survey report, DNR Fisheries Division will host public meetings to present the findings and allow for citizen discussion and input.

In 2006, the DNR will conduct another large lake survey effort on Lake Michigamme in western Marquette County. The Lake Michigamme survey will include the same types of survey parameters that took place at Lake Gogebic, and will also conclude jaw-tagged fish and a summer and winter creel census program.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for present and future generations.


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