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DNR fish stocking program is underway this spring

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has trucks on the road right now, full of fish and headed to hundreds of lakes and streams throughout the state

Have fish, will travel: it’s fish stocking season.

The DNR has 17 trucks moving fish reared at its hatcheries to waters around the state, mostly salmon and trout right now.

“Most of the vehicles you’ll see on the road this time of year are carrying cold water species. The cool water species, like muskie and walleye, those come later in the early summer and then again in the fall.”

Aaron Switzer is the Fish Production Program Manager and says DNR crews stock more than 20 million fish every year.

Where possible they prefer to let fish repopulate naturally but often stocking is necessary to supplement a low fish population, create more diverse fishing, or promote a better ecosystem in the area.

“Also – this is not common – but we can also be reintroducing species that may have once been in that area but have been extirpated and now we’re supporting that population by restocking.”

The DNR rears fish at six production facilities throughout the state.

You can find out what kind of fish are being stocked and exactly where on the DNR website’s Fish Stocking Database.

“Really what we’re doing as the DNR Fisheries Division is trying to provide great fishing opportunities across our state.”

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