Alewife numbers remain low in Lake Michigan

The Outdoor Journal

State fisheries officials predict salmon will be hungry and bite lures more readily with fewer alewives in Lake Michigan.  Photo: Howard Meyerson State fisheries officials predict salmon will be hungry and bite lures more readily with fewer alewives in Lake Michigan. Photo: Howard Meyerson

By Howard Meyerson

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Researchers studying prey fish populations in Lake Michigan have found that alewife populations continue to be at low ebb and may dip further before the 2014 fishing season is over.

Surveys conducted last August by state and federal agencies found little change from 2012, when prey fish numbers were reported at all-time lows.

“Things haven’t changed much. There continues to be a relatively limited age range, and we don’t have any that are over age five,” said Dave Warner, a fisheries research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. His crew, along with those from Michigan’s DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conducted acoustic and mid-depth netting surveys on Lake Michigan.

What was found was a “very low abundance” of…

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