Managers of Lake Michigan want to cut the number of Chinook salmon being put into the lake by as much as 50 percent next year. They say changes in the lake’s food web make it possible the entire salmon fishery could collapse. Cutting the number of fish stocked should reduce that risk. There’s a meeting this weekend in Benton Harbor to discuss the proposals.
Dan Thomas, President of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, says most people who pay attention to what’s happening in Lake Michigan see the danger. Thomas says there’s not much food for salmon in the lake these days.
"The numbers and percent of preyfish that are out there are in a precipitous decline."
The salmon fishery in Lake Michigan generates billions of dollars of economic activity. But scientists say the situation looks very similar to Lake Huron a decade ago just before the salmon died off there.