Future decrease in fish stocking planned in Lake Michigan

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) States adjacent to Lake Michigan have agreed to cut back on stocking the lake with chinook salmon and lake trout over the next two years.

The Lake Michigan Committee says chinook stocking rates will drop by 27 percent in 2017, while lake trout stocking will decrease by 12 percent. Further cuts are planned in 2018.

The committee says the reductions are necessary because of a decline in fish that salmon and trout eat, such as alewife and rainbow smelt. The prey fish slump results from changes brought on by invasive quagga and zebra mussels, which filter out plankton that smaller fish need.

The committee represents Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois and a tribal organization called the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority.

Each will decide how to work toward the goal in their jurisdictions.

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