Judas test: Will carp betray their own?

 

Common carp. Photo: WCCO-TV.

Common carp. Photo: WCCO-TV.

University of Minnesota researchers are recruiting common carp to test a way to eliminate Asian carp, according to WCCO-TV.

Fisheries experts fear that the invasive Asian carp may spread into the Great Lakes and elsewhere and outcompete native fish with its voracious appetite.

The researchers are fitting common carp, or “Judas fish,” with transmitters to lead them to other, larger schools of common carp, the station reports.

“(Carp) seem to be actually exceptionally social, they really hang out together,” researcher Peter Sorensen told the station. “We have to confirm that, but it sure looks that way.”

If the experiment shows how a common carp can “betray” other common carp locations, the same technique could be used in Asian carp populations to help exterminate them in the future, said Bill Hudson, the story’s reporter.

 

  • Tom M.

    I have proposed it to the DNR, NRC the Feds, multiple polititians. Put the studies and statements from biologists (personal E-mails) in thier hands been one on one with most of the players. In, the DNR save the alewife survey 95% of 580 people from all 4 statess voted to save the alewives (stocking cuts) over a year. We did a petition to restore the Perch,(stocking or safe zones)close during spawn, cut the limit to 25,one walleye over 23 inches. In 3 weeks we got 1562 people that voted to bring back the perch. I could have got as many as I wanted but I got tired of people venting about the DNR, you can’t print what most said. Permit denied. Dexter say we have angreement with all 4 states not to plant perch for genetic concerns. Prior attempts, not enough food, marinas took all the weeds blah blah …. Even if it was true “Salmon are a gold mine” is not a valid reason to destroy an ecosystem. Whatever value salmon have is irrelevent, they’re dependant on protecting an invasive species alewives.It’s a fishery that isn’t supposed to exist. We can have the perch back, we only need to want to, and never say never.

  • Scoop

    Truth is, perch fishing will never be what it once was, with or without salmon and alewives. The mussels have changed the rules. That seems lost on you.

    It’s a big lake. Right now the best perch bite is in 40 to 70 feet of water in many areas (though some guys are finding them in only 8 to 18 too, esp. in weedy bays or around reefs). Perch move. Fishermen have to move with them. Gone are the days when you just tossed a worm or minnow off the end of the pier to catch fish day after day. The ecosystem has changed, and you can’t blame the alewives. Some of the best perch fishing ever was when there were far more alewives around then there are today.

    Wisconsin wisely reduced its 50-fish perch limit many moons ago, and it has helped. We also banned fishing for perch during a two-month spawning window. If you’re so concerned about perch, have you done your homework and proposed similar rules to legislators/DNR/NRC there? If not, why not? Your time here is wasted, hoping that those “reading this” will do something. Start with local legislators in areas impacted, or go straight to the top. Head to NRC meetings and speak.

    If you reply to this one, you can have the last word. Otherwise we’ll see you around on another thread! Have a great day.

  • Tom M.

    Well scoop, you come and get ya your 50 Perch, bring your whole fam damily and all your friends. Come this summer go out on the pier any pier, and get a bucketful of Perch. Come in June when the alewives come into spawn, good fishin then. Make sure you go to South Haven to the famous Perch rocks and Capt Nichols Perch boats! Thousands of people and families have a blast catching Perch on the Capt. Nichols boats! Oh wait, I’m sorry, Capt. Nichols went out of business, tried to get people to eat gobies before he closed down. I figured fish moving into spawning areas increases them in one spot briefly would be wasted on you, but hey that’s the way it is. You come and get in on the “hot” perch fishin the paper says we got. The salmon have no value, keeping the salmon is like cutting down a forest to make one toothpick. The truth is wasted on you, but you ain’t the only one reading this:)

  • Scoop

    Now that your “no perch in 20 years story” was shot full of holes with one link to a “50-fish limit” story, you come clean and say winter brings ‘em in and concentrates ‘em, and it’s a recent thing. I could find links to message boards, photos, stories and videos that says it’s not just a recent thing, and it’s more than winter concentrating them. But it’s not worth the time. You are so pro-perch and anti-alewife and salmon that I’m convinced nothing anyone can say will open your eyes to the world-class, multi-species action all around you.

    Here’s a paragraph from a 2003 story, link to follow:

    “Other Great Lakes studies have shown that adult alewives will prey on yellow perch larvae, but no studies have quantified that possibility on Lake Michigan. Back in 1997, alewives were netted for six nights on Lake Michigan for 30 minutes after sundown. The fish were measured and preserved, and the stomach contents from 340 fish were analyzed. No larval perch were found and tests showed that 95 percent of the alewives’ diet consists of copepods, a large group of freshwater crustaceans.”

    Here’s the complete link, good piece, but should note that DNR has since in the past decade found some terrific perch year classes in Green Bay, and some fair ones in southern Lake Michigan: http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/html/stories/2003/jun03/perch.htm

    Larval perch, like larval fish of any species, have a tough battle trying to make it to adult size. Few make it, with or without alewives. They are tasty to dozens of fish species. You could rid the lake of every alewife (if it were possible — and if salmon keep naturally reproducing the way they are it might be!) and still not see the kind of perch fishing you remember as a kid. The whole ecosystem has changed, and the biggest driver in both clarity and filtering out the bottom of the found chain that all young fish need, are quaqqas. There are more quaggas than anything in Lake Michigan, far more than alewives. Many larval perch are not getting enough to eat.

    Here’s a study from your area: web.ics.purdue.edu/~thook/index_files/drifter_larvae.pdf

    Now, the perch decline began in the early 90s, long after salmon arrived (and there were a LOT more alewives around when I was a kid, and good perch fishing, too! Can you explain that?). Keep in mind the perch decline began about the time zebra mussels were discovered. Can you see any correlation? Those mussels, and the bigger quaggas that have come since, feasted on diporea, the same food that used to available in big quantities for perch. Check out more on this here:

    http://www.glwi.uwm.edu/features/news/documents/071201_Perch.pdf

    The salmon “experiment” as you call it is gold to Lake Michigan port communities. It’s an annual multi-million dollar impact on each and every port, and without the salmon, you could kiss hundreds of port community businesses around the lake goodbye. Salmon anglers and their families pack hotels, restaurants, tackle shops, gas stations, grocery stores, gift shops and more. There are several salmon contests around Lake Michigan that draw 1,000 to 2,500+ anglers, and more than a dozen others that lure 500 to 1,000 anglers. While the competitions are going on, there are hundreds of other anglers out there fishing who didn’t want to join the contest.

    You could stop stocking all salmon today and the fishery would not crash, thanks to increased natural reproduction from Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Starting this year, the lakewide stocking of salmon will be cut in half; Michigan’s share is even larger.

    We have so much variety available, from perch and other panfish to whitefish, white bass and walleyes; pike and muskies; trout and salmon; burbot and largemouth bass; sturgeon and smallmouths. So many opportunities, and so little time. That is the driving factor for most: time. One study after another finds that our busy society, as a whole, is making less time to fish and hunt. In some cases, it’s not just being busy, it’s the $ needed for bait and gas. However, with even a little bit of effort, almost anyone can go out and enjoy the great sport of fishing. Life’s too short! Enjoy!

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  • Tom M.

    Dear Paul, with respect the DNR just spent close to 2 years telling everyone we have to save the alewives. I believe this to be a lame attempt at being “transparent” perhaps so they wont get sued. Except for the Saginaw Bay Walleye recovery plan, the DNR hasn’t tried to get rid of any invasive species. They have no asian carp control plan, I was at the meeting. There’s a paper but there is no plan. The 123 pound rule controls this whole thing, each chinook needs at least 123 pounds of alewives per chinook to hit 17 pounds in 3 years. For every chinook stocked or natural spawned or what they figure will survive committs us all to protecting 123 pounds of alewives. You, I or anyone can go back to college and get 4 or 5 biology degrees and the 123 pound rule will still be there, natures law. If we keep the chinook the 123 pound rule rules. One fish dictates all our actions. The DNR knows this, they were part of figuring it out, (I asked the Alewife guy) they don’t want anyone to know it, just balance the prey etc….. Both Carp czars John Goss and Jim Bredin admitted to me that we do have predators for Asian carp, and promised me they would try to get the media from saying no known predators because it isn’t true, Saginaw carp meeting 9/23/11. One alewife was found with 361 larval Perch in its stomach, probably took 1-2 hours? It would take a cormorant how long to eat 361 perch, a year 2? Which predator does the most damage to the perch population? Mutiply by 500 kilotons of alewives. As scoop said doesn’t matter when you take a fish out they’re out. The DNR biologists know better, they have no excuse, regular folks do not. I want to fix the problem, not make lemonade, so far that’s only making the problem worse.

  • Tom M.

    Scoop, I have a nice Lund for big water, a 16 foot river boat, and my Dads old Herters duck boat for puddle lakes and drifting the river. Been fishin since I could walk. I have the means to go fishing pretty much anywhere I want.Most people don’t. I have considered guiding as well,usta organize float trips on the Muskegon for free, for my friends. If I only cared about me I wouldn’t be involved. I didn’t say no Perch,I said enough Perch. The Perch they’re catching is a pretty recent thing. Plus winter brings them in from Lake Michigan concentrates them. I do catch and release for Perch and Walleye on Muskegon and White lake 5 years. The problem is invasive species, alewives are a predator of larval perch, like the cormorants, perch predators, controlling them increased the perch in the islands, and perhaps here. Alewives are an obvious bottle neck to spawn survival, the DNR admits this. Yet the official plan is to keep alewives the dominant fish. You can’t see the problem with this plan? If it’s impossible for predators to control Asian Carp, then Asian Carp would be the dominant freshwater fish in the world, if not the only one. Every fish has predators, for Asian Carp we have several, none of them happen to be trout and salmon. You’re using the same play book as those people you must be connected to the salmon experiment somehow, or else you wouldn’t be so afraid of restoring the Perch. Your statements make no sense, so you attack me, fine, focus on the problem the answer is right in front of you. Solving the puzzle wasn’t that hard, finding all the pieces was the hard part, none were marked Hey Tom this study here!

  • Jim

    Wow! Who said, “Fire up, Chips!”?

  • Scoop

    And I’ve given you a number of places to try for perch which you seem to think are mythical creatures these days. My best suggestion is for you to head to a good sport shop and get some tips on where and when to go and what to use. If your local favorite spot doesn’t hold perch any more, there’s a reason. Stocking them wouldn’t mean they’d stay there. It’s a big lake and critters go where they find what they want. Salmon, walleyes, pike, perch, muskies, bass and more are all caught in Green Bay at spots like Marinette-Menominee, Escanaba and Washington Island, among others. I would think Grand Traverse Bay would be fertile. Here are some suggestions for perch from Michigan DNR: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-228197–,00.html and http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10364_53405-228634–,00.html.

    Wait, this is even better. Reports last November of 50-fish LIMITS from http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/11/fishing_report_whitefish_perch.html. Excerpt: “After a relatively slow year for perch, the action is greatly improved in recent days.

    Anglers are catching their limits of 50 perch while sorting through fish on White Lake and Muskegon Lake. Many 8- and 9-inch perch, the ideal size for eating, are being caught.

    On White Lake, perch fishermen are finding their best success while fishing in the areas of Indian Bay, San Juan and Blueberry Ridge. Although it can change on a daily basis, the active depths have been 65 to 70 feet of water.”

    So Tom, which is it, NO PERCH as you report on an online forum, or LIMITS OF PERCH which a reporter is willing to put his name to in a story in print and online?

    I think we have the answer. The perch and whitefish are there for those willing to put in the effort at the right time of year, in the right spot. Times change, change with them, or complain and live in the past.

    It really is your choice.

  • Tom M.

    You really are stuck on the clear water thing. Clear or dirty you can’t catch fish that ain’t there. No problem catching gobies and invasive white perch in clear water. Invasives are finding enough food to get in the game. Alewives main diet is zooplankton, the DNR’s are not worried about food, they’re worried about too many predators.
    Then there’s Saginaw Bay/ Huron sans alewives ecosystem coming back native rapidly according to Dexter, and it shows in the fishing (catching)been there done it. Let the duck guys shoot cormorants.
    Sorry Scoop, surviving the spawn is all fishes most vulnerale time, the only true weakness Asian Carp have from natures view. Just want to help the Perch and Walleye get in the game, we’ve yet to ask for any money.
    However as I said nothing happens without the DNR’s blessing. Restoring the native fishery would expose what the problem has been, so the problem wont allow it.

  • Paul

    Tom, I doubt very much that invasives have the blessing of the MI DNR, except for alewives to feed chinook salmon. There just isn’t much the DNR has been able to do to counter invasives given that the Federal gov’t and other Great lakes States have been unable or unwilling to force salties to clean their bilge water. That’s how most unwanted invasives got here, especially those that negatively affect the plankton biomass which is the base of the food web. The MI DNR was in the forefront of the effort to control the lamprey invasion and rehabilitate lake trout stocks in Lake Superior. The salmon stocking program was begun to control the alewife population and bring anglers back to fish the Great lakes and tributaries. Both these programs were unqualified successes. MI called for and participated in cormorant control, but, is hamstrung by the Feds, which has made success spotty. Most of the other invasive species are of a nature that they cannot be controlled, except minimally by by Nature itself.

    I think Scoop has the right attitude, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. But keep working on the responsible gov’t agencies to do more to correct these man-made mistakes. We have always been the species to make the biggest and most destructive mistakes, and will likely in the end be responsible for our own demise.

  • Scoop

    Dave, I’ll see if I can get permission from the guy to use. Some of the guides have had it up to here with guys scoping for their shacks with optics and then moving in, or even following them from shore. So many good spots but some folks just want someone else to do the homework for them.

    Tom, nothing wrong with cutting the perch limit to 25. In fact, in Wisconsin, it’s FIVE for Lake Michigan and 15 for Green Bay! We also close the perch seasons during spring spawning (even though a perch kept any time of year is a perch that obviously won’t be spawning again, but that’s a whole different topic). There is no commercial netting allowed in Lake Michigan, and a limited perch commercial quota system in the Wisconsin waters of Green Bay.

    Tom, you sir are grasping at straws. We could raise a trillion perch and stock the rivers Asian carp frequent and you wouldn’t make a dent in their numbers. Well, you might, but not significant enough. Same with Lake Michigan if they get in (if they already aren’t in). But remember this, the clear water combined with little for young perch to eat in certain parts of the lake (where many are being carried by currents according to recent studies from southern Lake Michigan) means you’ll never see a yellow perch fishery like “the good old days.” We’re in a forever changed ecosystem. When I was a kid it would have to be calm for three days straight for the nearshore water to clear enough for me to be able to see bottom off the end of the breakwall in about 10 to 15 feet of water. Today, you can see bottom in 30 to 40 feet of water within one day of lighter winds and no precipitation, and that’s a mile off shore! You can imagine how much easier perch were to catch in murky or stained (organism rich) water, and how much easier it is today for predators of all sorts to find them, too.

    It would be good if someone with your passion would keep after the states and feds to continue to greatly lower the numbers of non-paying cormorants which continue to ruin island habitats and feast on perch, bass, baitfish and other species spring through fall and stocked salmon and trout spring and fall. Michigan is killing roughly 4x as many as Wisconsin, and that’s a good thing for you. Egg oiling takes far too long to reduce numbers of these long-lived fish-eaters.

  • Tom M.

    Well Scoop, the folks in the U.P. are pushing to bring the Perch back, they want the walleyes back. The DNR is “addressing it” When the DNR dropped the slot limit BaY de noc,the walleyes got hammered. Go to Grand haven, Spring lake ask about gobies, bring a chair, might take a while. We had twenty years of Perch contests in Muskegon with very few Perch caught, before zebra mussels. You know stuff, study the alewife zooplankton connection. Clear water is not the problem recruitment, (survival of the spawn attempt) is the problem. Salmon get a consistant spawn by stocking, invasives get a good spawn every year because they get no pressure from us. Answer this. What’s wrong with cutting the Perch limit to say 25 ? What’s wrong with closing Perch during spawn time? What’s wrong with a only one walleye over 23 inches rule? One DNR study regarding perch and walleyes says more eggs are a biological safety factor, eggs come from females, a slot protects females. We have restrictions on trout, closed during spawn, why can’t we use the same logic on perch and walleye. Google alewives + algae then tell me why we want more? We can have a healthy native fishery, or a saltwater fishery (chinook and alewives) one or the other. You see none of this can happen without the DNR’s blessing, and all the invasives including the Asian carp have the blessing of the DNR. Perch are among a group of fish that experts say would be the most effective at controling the carp. Most effective is a good thing. I would also point out when alewives were 90% of the fish, common number for asian carp, the DNR planted predators.

  • http://GreatLakesEcho.org David Poulson

    Hey Scoop,

    We’re always looking for reader-submitted images for our Photo Friday feature. Send that picture of the successful anglers and we’ll consider it for inclusion.
    We just need to know who to credit it for taking it and some information that describes what’s in the picture and when it was taken.
    Send it to greatlakesecho@gmail.com
    Thanks!

    Dave Poulson
    Echo editor

  • Scoop

    Am not in DNR, am not a charter captain; just an active sport fisherman who knows things aren’t even close to as bleak as you try to paint ‘em. Through the years I’ve met a number of folks, often retired, who would rather harp about the “good old days” rather than adapt to the new ways needed in the clear water. If this site would allow photos I could post a shot of a three-person group and their catch from the Door County Peninsula today, limit of mixed sizes of whitefish and a pile of yellow perch from 7 to 14 1/2 inches.

    I’m guessing bull on the one-perch, 600-person ice fishing contest, unless it was very limited in hours; anything is possible on a given day. I would never judge a hunting or fishing season by a single DAY. That said, a lot of folks can tell you a lot of things; doesn’t mean it’s true. Check the many fishing reports available to you on Michigan fishing sites; some include photos and a picture is worth a thousand words. There are perch being caught, just rarely any of size in the shallow water like you used to be able to catch ‘em. If not targeting reefs, look DEEP for the best success. On weekends there are thousands of anglers fishing the frozen waters of Green Bay, from the city to the Bays de Noc. They aren’t sitting home pondering the “good old days” but instead, are learning and doing and yes, catching.

  • Tom M.

    Muskegon Lake, west coast really, where the bulk of the Perch spawning grounds are. In Escanaba last October they told me they had a huge Perch ice contest a while back, 600 people, only one Perch was caught. The DNR response was “That’s embarrassing” but no action was taken. The Bay Denoc only one Walleye over 23 inches helps protect spawning females, the DNR pulled it, they got a petition to get it back. They catch giant gobies off the Grand haven pier, saw 12 inchers this summer. So just ignore invasives and everything is peachy keen? Scoop I can drive most anywhere and find good fishing somewhere, 4 hrs to Saginaw bay. That’s not the point, we usta catch fish here, we could again. We only need to help Native fish survive the spawn, cut the creel limit, slot limit, close during spawn cost nothing, it’s called being good stewards of the resource, but it’s not allowed, because it would threaten the alewives. We can keep pretending we have a plan and watch the invasives continue to increase. Asian Carp play for keeps, nothing false about them, and they’re very good at it. Lacking enough predators they just spread faster. If you want to defend a group of people that think keeping 500 kilotons of alewives is a good idea, go ahead. Why can’t we have 500 kilotons of Perch? Plenty of food, 180 some varieties. Scoop, if your taking money from the DNR whatever it is, it’s not enough.

  • Scoop

    Stocking did give walleyes and Great Lakes strain muskies a vital jump start, but there’s also natural reproduction taking place. My point is, it’s world-class fishing and even folks who know little about it can catch walleyes on Green Bay simply by slow-trolling spinner/crawler rigs or stickbaits.

    Where were you fishing for 20 years not catching perch? Hire a good guide in the Bay de Noc area and you WILL catch walleyes and perch! There are probably plenty of good guides up there but these are the only ones I know personally: http://www.baydenoccharters.net/fishing.html. They also have a fishing message board you can check year-round with reports they and other anglers post. Even with the legal and illegal tribal netting that goes on up there it’s still world-class.

    Google Bay de Noc yellow perch and much info, photos and video is available, including this YouTube Bay de Noc perch video from last year with a limit among 30 boats on Big Bay de Noc: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW3T2MNjFLg. You can find ice fishing videos from there, too.

    Same thing with Winthrop Harbor and other northern Illinois ports in spring, terrific jumbo perch fishing with foot-long fish very common and some up to 16 inches. Hire a guide and find out!

    Door County, same deal, but lots of smaller fish and occasional monsters that win contests in the 14- to 15+-inch range. Not what it was decades ago at this time (for perch), but still fish to be caught. Some of the tougher bite may be due to clearer water and perch gorging on abundant juvenile gobies, gizzard shad and other prey fish, some due to the gin-clear water itself and no doubt some of it is the abundance of perch-eating predators such as walleyes, muskies, pike, bass, burbot, cormorants and white pelicans, among others. Annual Green Bay perch trawl surveys have shown some very strong perch hatches in the past decade yet once they 4-6 inches or so they seem to be dropping off at a faster rate than years ago. Predation? Either way, anglers now turn out in throngs to land whitefish on ice. It’s the #1 winter-caught species by far now, with 10-fish daily bag limits common and more than a dozen guides renting dozens of heated shacks from Dyckesville to southern Door County. They’ve switched to the best bite available, leaving those who want to target perch, walleyes, pike and brown trout more space to themselves.

  • Tom M.

    Sir, The Green Bay Walleyes according to the DNR was from stocking, that restored the fishery and brought tournaments etc.. In Bay Denoc they want to restore Perch and Walleyes. I was there in October, I talked to the people, fished the bay. They want to reduce the creel limit in the UP 3 lakes. At the NRC meeting in Ontonagon the MDNR Walleye plan, blames alewives and smelt, for walleye crash. I was there. The locals tell a different story than what you present. We started trying to get involved to restore Perch after 20 years of perch derbys and not catching fish. I sat on a bucket not catching anything,those years. Had a underwater video cam, they weren’t there to catch. All invasives eat something, so your prior statement that billions of gobies have no impact, makes no sense. 3 hard core Perch guys gave up the last 3 years in Lake Michigan. All we get from the DNR is excuses, they only have to sound plausible, don’t have to be true, and they’re not. The results are not there, some of the DNR’s own studies tell us what to do, but we can’t realy. Lack of predators has to be maintained, for the alewives. To use the Fed term, predators are but one tool in the tool box we can use. If we don’t use them, then we are not doing everything we can to keep the Asian carp from overruning the joint, are we?

  • Scoop

    Tom, there is terrific, world-class yellow perch fishing in the very fertile extreme southwest basin of Lake Michigan as witnessed by the hundreds of boats pounding jumbos in the Winthrop Harbor and other port areas each spring. They are spawning successfully. The problem is the bottom of the food chain is not what it once was, and currents are carrying the fry into areas north and east nearly devoid of good eats. The water is also irreversibly clear so tasty perch (unlike decades ago when the water was murky) are easily munched by predators of many types. Divers today can clearly see shipwrecks on bottom in 100 feet of water, photographing the entire length from above. Before zebras and quaggas cleared the water of all those little “eats” divers were lucky to “feel” their way along a wreck even in relatively shallow water.

    You lost me on the Muskegon walleyes/salmon spawn part. Not sure what’s happening there, but there is world-class walleye fishing on Green Bay with successful spawning on the Fox and Menominee rivers, and others; walleye circuits from across the country come to Green Bay, Oconto, Sturgeon Bay and Bays de Noc and the fisheries draw throngs spring, summer, fall and winter. All also offer terrific perch, pike, brown trout, smallmouth bass and Great Lakes strain muskies. Plenty of alewives and salmon, too, plus whitefish, catfish, lake sturgeon and more. So many predators! Gobies being gobbled by the millions, along with alewives, minnows of many types, gizzard shad and more. A truly fish-rich, fisherman’s paradise. You don’t have to take my word for it. Search some of the websites and Facebook pages of the dozens of guides who fish Green Bay year-round (very busy on the ice right now). Truly amazing. DNR fly-overs some winters on busy weekends have estimated up to 10,000 anglers on the ice!

    I’m not sure, but it sounds like perhaps you may need to expand your list of contacts to folks who aren’t burnt out and talk to the young, active, go-get ‘em guys or the seasoned pros who haven’t given up just because things aren’t always “the way they used to be.” It’s a forever-changed system. You have to be able to adapt. There’s terrific fishing for far more than salmon in Lake Michigan. In fact, nobody is catching salmon this time of year (outside of some nearly-dead cohos now and then while fishing browns and rainbows in the streams and harbors) and the Wisconsin and Michigan weekly DNR fishing reports are still loaded with information. Get off the computer and into a vibrant bait and tackle shop. You might find yourself hooked again and have your eyes opened on just what is really available to those who truly WANT to get outdoors and hook some fish.

  • Tom M.

    Some facts to ponder
    1. Every Asian Carp proccessing plant creates a group of people that will fight to protect them, (jobs). New Grafton plant says jobs permanent.
    2. If the 30% maximum sustainable yield rule is true (maximum harvest to maintain base population) then the one carp plant with a 30 million pounds per year contract has to protect 100 million pounds of Asian Carp to keep thier jobs.

    Everyone should go to Illinois and see for themselves ask the locals what they “usta” catch.

  • Tom M.

    Dear Scoop, Really? Please read the MDNR Saginaw bay recovery plan no 29. The basic principles can be applied anywhere, and the primary goal of the plan was to get rid of the alewives. Seems to have worked out just fine. We’re supposed to minimize invasive affects once you get them, increasing predators does that, increasing alewives does not. If what you say is true about Green Bay then the DNR should have no problem with us restoring the Perch, yet they do. The Feds say we have predators for Asian carp, Nature says we have predators for Asian Carp, so I vote predators. DNR say too many predators now. The official plan for Lake Michigan is to keep the alewives dominant. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea isn’t looking at the whole picture or true cost of that action, or they will get financial gain from it. If we have a smart person who says there’s nothing we can do, then we need a new smart person. The Muskegon system hasn’t had a good Walleye spawn in over 50 years, main spawn/nursery for most of Lake Michigan. Yet salmon spawn too much (they say) why? Too hot,too cold, high water, low water, or alewives? The DNR admits alewives by eating zooplankton and larval fish affect every fish in the lake (O’Neil, Clapp MDNR). And big fish eat little fish. I can somewhat agree with you about studies, redundant fits quite well. However to rely on barriers or poison, or overfishing alone would be irresponsible. There is no comparision between that which is lost by not succeeding, and that which is lost by not trying.

  • Scoop

    You rely too much on grant-funded research which at times is accurate and at times just a way to a paycheck. Green Bay, Wisc., (the water, not the city) has world-class walleye fishing and supports a yellow perch sport and commercial fishery. It also is the lone bright spot in Lake Michigan’s alewife population in recent years, putting out excellent numbers of young of the year and supporting multiple year classes of adults. How’s that alewife control of walleyes and perch going there, or the Bays de Noc, or Lake Erie, or Lake Ontario bays?

    Common carp aren’t Asian carp. There will never be enough predators to eat enough Asian carp, even though there were and still are terrific numbers of catfish, bass and many other predator species in the Mississippi. We were told round gobies would ruin our sport fishery too, but guess what? Smallmouth bass, brown trout, whitefish and many other species are dining on them. Never will stop them, but at least fish are preying on them and no species seems to have been significantly negatively impacted by their invasion.

  • Tom M.

    Dear Scoop, prior to Asian carp the dominant fish was common carp down south, not a predator, cousin from China. Catfish are good predators but still overfished commercially, along with other native fish you mentioned, hook and line. The experts say predators have to be abundant, are they? By who’s standards, yours or natures? They cleaned out alligator Gar because they were eating the bass they thought, now they’re putting them back (FWS), to eat Asian Carp. Alewives have been controlling Perch walleye and the rest of the native fish since they got here. By eating the eggs fry and larval fish up to 2 inches they say, documented. Alewives have a tiny mouth, only have 30-60 days before perch etc.. grow too big, yet by having abundant numbers and attacking the most vulnerable time of all they control the populations. Lake trout are alewife predators yet one study showed alewives wiped out 100% of the laker spawn attempt 10 years in a row. Do they know they’re eating potential predators? Don’t know, don’t care, it’s enough to know they do.
    Don’t take my word for it. Google Common carp control using predators, then biotic-resistance, then look at what’s going on in the lake, lack of predators started it all. Will predators eat every single asian carp? Probably not, but everyone they eat wont live 25+ plus years spawning 3-4 times a year. 10 pounds of larval carp is many thousand fish. 10 pounds adult one fish, 100 pounds adult could be just 2 fish. Which is most effective? It can be done, I’ll just be niave.

  • Joe

    Scoop, as best as I can tell Tom approaches asian carp and alewives from the aspect of what we can do now. The asian carp problem is so huge that it is probably promoting algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. To put that much rotenone into the the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River basins may not only not solve the problem; but create other ones.

  • Scoop

    You are naive to believe any predator can control Asian carp. There are northern pike, walleyes, catfish, bass and many other predators on the Mississippi River system. How’d that work for stopping the carp? Poison pill? Here’s the correct info on that: http://www.activistangler.com/journal/tag/rotenone.

  • Tom M.

    2 people dislike my comments yet you do not post why. My guess would be salmon charters or DNR. Over and over the experts have said juvenile Asian carp are very bad at avoiding predators. All baby fish have predators. They just admitted commercial fishing won’t control Asian Carp, they also admit some carp are in the lake. 2 or 200 if they spawn survival of that spawn attempt dictates how many we get. Lack of or low predators increase survival. Basic stuff here. We are all supposed to be doing whatever it takes to protect the lakes and our natural resources. I am willing to do that. If there is not enough money, then what can we do that doesn’t cost money. Reduce creel limits, close during spawn, create safe areas, all standard issue, if you really want to protect natural resources. Works everywhere else in the world, but according to the DNR it wont work here! We can only work to save the alewives, sorry that I will never agree to.

  • Tom M.

    I like the Judas fish thing, kinda neat. However D Chapman said once they had 2 radio tagged fish trapped between nets and didn’t catch them. Regardless it has been stated many times from common carp control studies “It is essential after removal of adults to stock predators for juvenile carp” They actually increase in population if you do not. Which we’ve been seeing with the Asian Carp, and lack of predators with the other invasives. GLMRIS just announced they are dropping the rotenone poison pill thing, because the carp can smell it, they already knew that from common carp studies, got them eating pellets then added rotenone, they wouldn’t eat them. As bad as the asian Carp are down south, and as bad as it will get here. Why do these people fight so hard against restoring native predators, proven over and over again as the most effective invasive control? Invasive predators are controling the systems why can’t native predators?