Fishing opportunities created by a successful fish stocking season
January 18, 2024
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced its total fish stocking effort for the fall of 2023. The DNR has stocked six different species — a total of 1,076,204 fish weighing 14.5 tons — at 103 sites across the state.
“This has been another great fall stocking season and will provide improved fishing opportunities throughout Michigan,” said Ed Esch, assistant chief of the DNR Fisheries Division. “When added to our successful spring and summer stocking efforts, this brings the total for 2023 to more than 10.4 million fish stocked in Michigan waters.”
The number and type of fish stocked varies by hatchery, as each facility’s capacity to raise fish varies due to water supply and temperature. In Michigan, six state hatcheries and three cooperative hatcheries work together to produce the species, strains and size of fish that fisheries managers need. These fish must then be delivered at specific times and places for storage to ensure their success. Most fish in Michigan are stocked in the spring.
The fall 2023 fish stock consists of six species: brook trout, coho salmon, lake trout, steelhead rainbow trout, walleye, and muskellunge.
In the Upper Peninsula-
The Marquette State Fish Hatchery (Marquette) stocked 35,782 fall fingerlings and adult brook fish for a total weight of 3,876 pounds. These fish are stocked at 42 locations in the Upper and Lower Peninsula. Marquette also stocked 290 adult lake trout weighing 1,800 pounds at three locations in the UP
Thompson State Fish Hatchery (Manistique) stocked three locations with 237,091 fingerling steelhead weighing 2,375 pounds. Thompson also stocked 18,293 Great Lakes strains weighing 2,036 pounds at 11 locations in the Upper and Lower Peninsula.
In the lower peninsula-
Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (west of Kalamazoo) stocked six sites with 3,320 Great Lakes muskellunge fingerlings weighing 476 pounds. Wolf Lake also stocked 344,860 fingerling steelhead weighing 5,355 pounds at four locations.
The Platte River State Fish Hatchery (Traverse City) stocked four sites, each in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, with 416,474 coho salmon weighing 11,840 pounds.
In general, fish are raised in Michigan fish hatcheries anywhere from a month to a year and a half before being stocked.
The DNR welcomes visitors to state fish hatcheries and interpretive centers to see the fish farming process firsthand and learn about Michigan waters. For more information visit
To see if there are any stocked fish at your favorite fishing spot, or to discover a new fish, visit the DNR’s Fish Stocking Database at the links provided.
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