DNR Fisheries Letter 2010

Bob,
Thanks for your note, we really appreciate the update. That is very interesting about the smallmouth bass. The haven’t been seen in any of our fish surveys of the lake since 1979 (see here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2006-17_Big-Star-Lake_179519_7.pdf).

Here’s the scoop on Big Star Lake from our end. We were able stock Big Star with 28,442 spring fingerling walleye in 2008, and 22,207 more in 2009. You were lucky to get those fish- we were unable to stock many of our lakes due to VHS disease restrictions. Because of that, we are way behind in our stocking programs for many of those lakes. So it may be another year or two before Big Star Lake gets stocked with walleye again.

We did a fisheries survey (one night electrofishing effort) last spring to try and catch some of those young walleye that were stocked in 08 and 09. Unfortunately, we did not catch any. We only caught one walleye, a 24” fish. That may mean that the 08 and 09 stocking efforts did not “take” for whatever reason. Have you heard any reports of juvenile walleye being caught by anglers? We would like to get in and do another netting survey in Big Star Lake in the near future, but budget and personnel issues may prevent us from doing that. I realize the news I’m giving probably isn’t what you were hoping to hear, and I apologize for that. Such are the times, unfortunately. Anyhow, if you would continue to keep contact with us on a regular basis and keep us posted on what anglers are catching, that would be great.

Mark Tonello
Fisheries Management Biologist
Central Lake Michigan Management Unit
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
(231)775-9727 ext. 6071
tonellom@michigan.gov
8015 Mackinaw Trail
Cadillac, MI 49601

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