Lake Superior Trout, Salmon in Recovery
Wild lake trout, salmon, and herring in Lake Superior are recovering, reflecting a decade of conservation effort, according to the Lake Superior fisheries management plan issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Populations of wild lake trout, having rebounded from near devastation by sea lamprey, are once again found throughout the entire lake, reflecting the major progress achieved in the rehabilitation of the Lake Superior fishery over the last 10 years.
The plan will guide fisheries management on Minnesota’s portion of Lake Superior. It includes proposals to discontinue lake trout stocking in part of the lake, allow an increase in regulated commercial harvest of lake herring, a 50 percent reduction in commercial fishing licenses, and extending the lake trout sport fishing season through the first weekend in October.
Additional changes proposed in the plan include a discontinuation of chinook salmon stocking, simplifying stream angling regulations, and an increased emphasis on habitat and watershed protection and rehabilitation.
The final plan does not include a proposal for steps that could have led to a limited commercial lake trout fishery in the northernmost portion of the lake.
The DNR will begin to implement some parts of the plan immediately, while others will take time to develop. The DNR has decided at this time not to implement the proposed expansion of lake trout assessment netting.
As the DNR acquires new information on the Lake Superior fishery, fisheries managers will meet with interested citizens to discuss what future changes might be necessary.