MADISON - A workshop dealing with alewives in Lake Michigan will be held Jan. 29, 1997, in Madison, WI
The management of alewives in Lake Michigan has been the subject of study and debate for over 30 years. Management policy in Wisconsin has moved from the goal of control through exploitation to the present policy of protecting alewives from incidental harvest in order to reserve them for use as food for salmon and trout. Those regulations have effectively limited the harvest of alewives to a fraction of earlier numbers.
In 1991, Gov. Thompson asked the Dept. of Natural Resources to form a group including commercial and sport fishing representatives to further study the dynamics of the alewife population and the effect of commercial trawling on the salmon sport fishery.
But Lake Michigan has continued to change, and today some reports suggest that the alewife population may be increasing to levels exceeding those thought possible in 1993. The January workshop will provide an opportunity to review the situation, address topics raised, the dynamics of the alewife population and the effect of commercial fishing on the salmon sport fishery.
The workshop will include presentations on:
- Trends in lakewide abundance of alewives, smelt, and bloater chubs,
- A review of modeling tools for predicting trends in forage species abundance,
- Lessons from Lake Ontario,
- The trawl fishery in Wisconsin,
- Current understanding of the importance of alewives to salmon and trout.
A report summarizing the workshop and the views of the participants will be prepared.
The following agencies/organizations are invited to participate:
WDNR, UW-Stevens Point, USFWS, USGS, Wis. Sea Grant, Wis. Commercial Fisheries, sportfishing community, COTFMA, and Wis. Dept of Commerce.
Jim Butterbrodt will represent the Wisconsin sport fishing community. Butterbrodt chairs the Great Lakes Study committee of Wisconsin's Conservation Congress and is President of Wis. Federation of Great Lakes Sportfishing Clubs.