New permits allow fish net pens

The program allows nonprofit groups to place net pens in Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and their tributaries to increase fish for recreational anglers.

Michigan and New York already allow such pens.

Urban farm seeks fish funds


If you live in Detroit, easy access to fresh Great Lakes bluegill and catfish could be closer than you think. Just donate to Food Field’s FISHSTARTER! campaign. Noah Link and his partner, Alex Bryan, created Food Field by transforming an abandoned Detroit school site into a four-acre urban farm. Since their first full growing season in 2011, they’ve expanded to grow organic produce, produce honey, raise chickens and ducks and maintain a fruit orchard.

Great Lakes aquaponics farm receives recognition from New York Times

A Milwaukee aquapoinics company was recognized this week in the “Energy and Environment” section of the New York Times. Save Water Organics was featured in a story about raising fish while growing water-based plants at the same time. The plants are grown on top of the fishpond. The fish waste supplies the plants with fertilizer, and the plants filter the water for the fish. While the story came out of London, the writer focused on the techniques used at Sweet Water.

Great Lakes fish hatcheries could benefit from new test for deadly VHS virus

There may be hope for fishery managers still reeling years after a dangerous virus appeared in the Great Lakes. The month-long wait for a viral hemorrhagic septicemia test has hobbled hatcheries that must test fish before introducing them to the region’s lakes and streams. Genetics researchers at the Lake Erie Research Center at the University of Toledo are working on a test that will speed up that diagnosis to a matter of hours. The research, supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is one of several projects around the Great Lakes studying a virus that has cost the region tens of millions of dollars in staff time, lost hatchery capacity and research. The tourism and ecosystem impacts are as yet unknown, Marc Gaden, communications director for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, wrote in an e-mail. About $1.2 million from various sources has been spent on projects that seek to better understand the virus and develop diagnostic tests, said Gary Whelan, the fish production manager for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division

The virus was first detected in the Great Lakes in 2005 and 2006 after it killed large numbers of fresh water drum, muskellunge, round gobies and yellow perch.