The Stocking

Since perch population estimates were not started for Lake Michigan until 1986, let's use reported commercial perch harvest for Wisconsin's waters of Lake Michigan as judge of their population. As you can clearly see, there was no perch recovery until after the two stockings off Milwaukee. Read here about the 1978 stocking. Read here about the 1981 stocking.

Now let's look at Yellow Perch stockings around the State as compared to the Wis. Lake Michigan perch population. Stocking of Beaver Dam Lake in no way competes with Lake Michigan's need. Then comes the Rock River stockings. In 1997 alone, while the total estimated number of perch in Lake Michigan is 481,821, the number of perch put into the Rock River that year is 496,000. Clearly, Lake Michigan had a need as great or greater then the Rock River for those valuable perch. While Lake Michigan wasn't worth a new stocking program, the Rock River was, this even though just a few years previous, 3 million purchased perch were good enough for Beaver Dam Lake. Then once the Rock River was satisfied, instead of continuing to produce perch for Lake Michigan the program is shut down. A new program is started up at U.W. to produce Lake Michigan strain yellow perch and after producing millions of eggs that program too is shut down without a single perch being stocked to help that beliegered fishery.