Historical facts:
1978: 178,740 non-native perch stocked in Lake Michigan
1981: 200,000 Green Bay strain yellow perch stocked in Lake Michigan
1988-1991: 3+ million perch stocked in Beaver Dam Lake
1994-1998: New perch stocking program started with almost 1.2 million perch put into the Rock River
1997-2003: New Brood Stock program started; producing ~18 million Lake Michigan strain yellow perch eggs until closed*.
*I believe these perch were raised at a facility shared by the DNR and UWM’s Great Lakes Water Institute at Greenfield Ave.

From Wisconsin Outdoor News, Oct. 22, 2004, page 8: ‘Lake Michigan yellow perch numbers continue to fall’, by Judy Nugent, an article containing quotes from Brad Eggold DNR. Per this article:

- 'But until an exact cause of the decline can be determined, there’s little the DNR can do but monitor the situation. Stocking is not a viable option for several reasons. First is the cost of starting up a new stocking program'.
- 'The next problem would be finding a source for all of those eggs. Getting donor stock from other places would introduce a new genetic component. Eggold said this would be dangerous to stock, especially when the existing perch already are reproducing naturally. According to Eggold this process would cause more harm than good'.
- 'To get the size of perch needed, the DNR would have to spend 16 cents for a 1- to 2-inch perch, and 30 cents for a 4-inch fish. This might not seem expensive until you look at the target numbers. The DNR would have to stock 16 million fish'.

From 1994-2009, 400+ million walleyes were stocked in this State, of which 49 million were 1-2", wouldn't they cost as much or more then perch? From 1996 to 2004, Wisconsin received $73.6 million (not adjusted for inflation) from the USFWS via the Sport Fish Restoration Program. From 1996 to 2010, the total was $145.1 million. Strange, is the DNR saying that to restore perch would cost more then $100 million? I wonder what fishery the DNR thinks is more endangered and needs restoration more then Lake Michigan perch?

‘Cost of starting up a new stocking program’? History shows the contrary, the DNR has started up perch stocking programs but shuts them down before producing perch for Lake Michigan.
The Rock River got a new perch stocking program, why? Just a few years earlier, Beaver Dam Lake didn't rate a new stocking program despite needing 1.5+ million more perch. Why purchase perch for Beaver Dam but not for the Rock River? With a greater demand for Lake Michigan perch at the time of the Rock River program, the meeting of that demand could have offset its cost.
Instead the Rock River perch program was closed and a new U.W. program started. A strange program, one designed to specifically produce critically needed Lake Michigan strain yellow perch eggs, about 18 million of them, but without a single perch being put into the Lake. Why did the DNR speak of the cost of new stocking programs and not the wasted funds on old, unutilized programs they chose to shutdown instead of use for the benefit of Lake Michigan?
It appears to this author that someone was trying to disavow any knowledge of historical facts.
Mr. Eggold’s stated egg source was in fact present at U.W. and produced the stated number of genetically correct eggs. Yet having overcome all his stated obstacles the previous 4 years, not a single one of those 18 million genetically correct perch eggs, nor resulting fry, were returned to the Lake. Why?

The results of not putting perch into Lake Michigan from either of the two programs shut down in the past 13 years? A record low number of perch in the Wis. waters of Lake Michigan, plus the threat that brings to so few surviving fish. Not to mention the wasted dollars.

As to the fact that 'existing perch already are reproducing naturally'. It appears to me, they are only reproducing enough to prevent becoming extinct. I would point out that walleyes in this State are 'reproducing naturally' too, but that doesn't prevent the DNR from stocking billions of them. So why doesn't the DNR really want to stock perch? Would it be because commercials would have to pick up half the cost of stocking to keep their share of the quota, or see commercial perch fishing closed, like Lake Trout and Walleye?