It sounds crazy on the surface that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has had to kill off over 30,000 Atlantic salmon but there is a good reason for it.

Atlantic Salmon

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Atlantic salmon were not always in Lake Michigan or the other Great Lakes it was other fishermen that started putting them there in the early 70s.

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It wasn't until the 90s when the DNR began stocking Lake Michigan with Atlantic Salmon. If you have ever been lucky enough to catch one or two you know what I mean by them being the fish of a lifetime once you get one on.

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Unfortunately, the salmon introduced into Lake Michigan didn't establish breeding populations but the ones that would migrate over from Lake Huron did. Because of that and the fine work of the DNR fisheries department Lake Michigan is strong with Atlantic Salmon. It is a lot of hard work managing the Atlantic Salmon population in Lake Michigan and sometimes the DNR has to make some tough choices when doing so.

Read More: Why Are Fish Dying at One West Michigan Lake?

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Kills Off Over 30,000 Atlantic Salmon

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No, the DNR didn't electrocute a bunch of Atlantic Salmon execution style but did have to euthanize over 30,000 fish, it seems crazy on the surface but they had a good reason.

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The DNR has several fisheries throughout Michigan to help with the stocking process. According to the DNR press release,  the Harrietta State Fish Hatchery, in Wexford County detected a bacterial kidney disease in over 30,000 Atlantic Salmon and had to euthanize them so they didn't pass the bacteria on to other fish.

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The good news is, that the DNR partnership with Michigan State University prevented these infected fish from being stocked and infecting other fish. The MSU lab caught the disease and the fish hatchery did the rest. The DNR did try and treat the fish for the bacteria before having to euthanize them but unfortunately had to make the right decision to protect Lake Michigan.

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Salmon fishermen need not worry about the over 30,000 fish that were euthanized because the DNR stocks 20 to 30 million fish annually so this will hardly dent the work our fisheries are doing in the public waters of Michigan for us anglers.

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