Lake Michigan charter fishing endangered by food web woes, retiring captains

By on July 10, 2014
Pleasure and charter fishing boats lined up in Kenosha harbor. (Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Lake Michigan’s charter fishing industry is dealing with issues that could affect its long-term viability, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Many of them are playing out this summer on the Great Lake.

An imbalance in the predator-prey relationship has led fisheries managers to reduce stocking of chinook salmon by half, which could affect catch rates. They are expected to match rates from 2013, which hit a five-year low, impacting communities that rely on fishing for tourism dollars.

In addition, many charter boat captains are nearing the end of their careers and will retire soon. With a lack of new captains to take up the business, some fear the industry is in decline.

Michigan Sea Grant estimates that charter fishing created $15.3 million of total economic output in 2013.

Image: Pleasure and charter fishing boats lined up in Kenosha harbor. (Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

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