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The tremendous revival of WI’s Yellow Perch population after the 1978 & 81 Lake Michigan perch stocking programs is testament to its effectiveness. The WDNR or US Fish and Wildlife Service can easily reverse the declining perch population with a temporary supplemental native Yellow Perch stocking program.
The Solution to the Perch Decline. In most years, hatched Lake Michigan Yellow Perch eggs rarely survive in appreciable numbers. So we need hatchery assisted supplemental extended growth perch stockings, taken from eggs that are gathered from the now present Lake Michigan Yellow Perch. This will again jump-start the resource. In addition we need a few mass stockings, also from the present Lake Michigan perch. All stockings to be carried out in select harbors, which are large enough to be classified as inland lakes, as done previously. They are rich in nutrients and have an excellent forage base and will again afford an excellent scientific laboratory for the evaluation of perch stockings in Lake Michigan. However along with a well managed stocking strategy there has to be protection of the now present year classes of native Yellow Perch, by the placement of commercial Chub nets into deeper waters which will afford protection to the additional expanding perch population and prevent unnecessary net kills.

In 1978 & 1981, the WDNR stocked almost 400,000 perch, none of these perch were Lake Michigan strain. The 1978 stocking were inland stock, the 1981 stocking were of Green Bay strain. To me it would appear that the graph of 1953-1964 appear very simialar to 1983-1996 years. If you read Dr. Wilbergs report he's of the opinion that the perch were overfished both times. Please note that all of my attempts to find out from the DNR as to the reasons, and results of their stockings have come to nothing. I believe that the DNR is telling some government representitives that the stockings were a failure. I don't think so, what about you? Why would the DNR state that stocking doesn't work? Why did our members have to contact the USFWS to make sure the WDNR fish stockings were finally entered into the Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database (GLFSD)?

Compare this to the other stocked species, click here. Notice that the only fished stocked by the DNR in greater numbers then Walleyes are Chinook Salmon. Yet, a fisherman was twice as likely to catch a Smallmouth and ten times as likely to catch a Coho Salmon as they were likely to catch a Walleye. Yet for all that stocking in just Zone 3, harvest rates are down for all species except Chinooks. The DNR claims to be experts in stocking but the species they do stock in some of the largest numbers aren't caught, Walleyes for example, the ones they stocked in the smallest numbers show the greatest comeback. Why does the DNR reinforce failure and not success?

 

And here from a study by Eck and Wells, 1987, from the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, a chart showing Perch YOY as done by the USFWS. Amazlying the perch YOY numbers jumps up two years after the WDNR stock perch.