The Excuses

"Most researchers believe that the poor yellow perch recruitment during the 1990s and early 2000s was due to a combination of several factors, including poor weather conditions and low abundance of female spawners." Source USGS page 10 . And here
Verses the excuses we hear from our Wisconsin public servants.
The latest from a local State Representative about restoring perch by stocking again. Read here.
1) "That might be reasonable if the yellow perch population in Lake Michigan were totally depleted" and "there is a substantial population of healthy adult yellow perch" - Not so, the Lake Michigan perch population is down over 97%. Who believes only 3% remaining is a substantial population? Why is it suggested that perch stocking is only reasonable once they are 'totally depleted'? Which other species of fish is currently stocked because it has been totally depleted in the wild?
2) "The cost would simply be too great." - Who says? If the economic benefits are $5 million a year, does the DNR really claim that stocking perch would cost more then that per year? What is the estimated cost of stocking?
3) "If we were to stock more yellow perch there is no reason to think they would produce more offspring than the wild fish that are already there" - So when did more adult fish, not produce more young!!? That's the reason the DNR has hatcheries.
4) "but apparently conditions in the lake have changed so that the survival of their offspring is limited" - Is someone really suggesting that there is now a limit as to the number of perch offspring that can survive in Lake Michigan, if so, what's that number? Why does every other State have more perch?
5) “Thirty years ago a yellow perch population like the one we have now produced a series of very large "year classes" of offspring and produced the remarkable sport fishery that lasted from about 1985 to about 1995.” - The DNR has never offered Lake Michigan perch population estimates pre-1986. Though in 1978 & 1981 the DNR stocked perch. How is someone so sure the stockings wasn’t responsible for the comeback of perch?
6) “Ecological changes to the lake since the 1980's are truly profound and far-reaching.” - if a non-native fish like the salmon can start reproducing naturally, in numbers great enough to force stocking reductions, despite ecological changes. Why would only the native perch be negatively effected?
If ecological changes are so profound and far-reaching, then why is commercial fishing management unchanged? Why do reasons #1, #5 seem to conflict with reason #6. Why not just replace the perch taken illegally by commercials, isn’t that fair?

How about some current thinking from a State with a 35/50 perch limit? From Michigan Outdoor News, June 22, 2012. Mr. Dave Clapp, MDNR fisheries research biologist.
- ‘It was thought alewife abundance was a major influence on perch numbers, but Clapp said that might not be the case.’
- “The decline in Diporeia might not be as big a factor in perch numbers as once thought,” said Clapp. “Perch are pretty adaptable.”
- ‘Perch may not be as affected by the changes created by zebra mussels as once thought either. “The mussels just redistribute nutrients and habitat and invertebrates follow,” Clapp said. The perch it seems are taking advantage of those food sources.’

My impression, the politician is using a shotgun approach with excuses, Mr. Clapp seems to be rethinking what happened with the perch and that there is hope.