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I’m not sure how to phrase this correctly but here goes, the yellow perch problem finally got so bad that study was finally commissioned. It is titled Yellow Perch Dynamics in Southwestern Lake Michigan during 1986-2002. In it are some rather interesting findings. Let's go though a few of them here. The lines are numbered for easy reference.

How bad was illegal commercial perch fishing in Wisconsin, see lines starting at 194. At line 201: "For observed commercial yield in Wisconsin during 1989-1992, we added the reported commercial yield and the verified illegal yield and multiplied the number by two."

What that comes to then, was that in four years the illegal harvest was estimated to be about equal to the reported 10 year legal harvest. Please note the sheer numbers. If Wilbergs estimate is correct, that means that about 5 to 6 MILLION perch were taken illegally in just 4 years with fewer then 36 commercials allowed in that zone.

If I'm reading it right, starting at line 335, the conclusion is that not only in 1990's were the perch overfished, but the same thing happened in the early 60's.

Again if I'm reading correctly it appears that it's being stated at line 364 that adult female perch were overfished between 2 and 4 times the sustainable rate. I believe that if charted it would look like this.

The report goes on to find that the perch crash was unlikely caused by either alewifes nor zebra mussels.

The way I read the report is that the decline of the yellow perch in Lake Michigan was caused by overfishing of the adult females, and am left to conclude that this was caused by gross mismanagment by the WDNR. But why would the DNR favor commercials so favorably? Check out quota and money.

Oh, what happened to the alwives, mentioned on line 348, why they were commercially fished until the salmon were starving. From just 1971 - 1990, a reported 475 million pounds of alewives where harvested, worth about $9 million. A couple of years after the salmon were found to be starving the DNR finally reduced the quota to zero pounds per year in 1991.