LANSING?- Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists are reminding Lake Superior anglers to keep an eye out for Chinook salmon with missing adipose fins.
In 2012, the DNR's Fisheries Division began stocking clipped Chinook salmon as a means to track and evaluate the proportion of fish caught that originated in hatcheries or through natural reproduction. Now, as two-year-old fish, these clipped Chinook will begin to show up in the fishery.
The adipose fin is the small fleshy lobe found on the back of the fish, just forward of the tail fin. The data on clipped fish will be collected by Lake Superior creel clerks who interact with anglers at boat landings and other fishing locations to collect this key data.
"A total of almost 750,000 adipose fin-clipped Chinook were stocked in Lake Superior during 2012 and 2013," said Phil Schneeberger, Lake Superior Basin Coordinator. "These fish were stocked at Black River Harbor, in the Big Iron River near Silver City, and in the Dead and Carp Rivers near Marquette, but anglers are apt to catch them anywhere in the lake."
Although clipped as part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's mass-marking program, stocked Lake Superior Chinook salmon do not have associated coded wire tags implanted in their snouts, as is generally the case for adipose-clipped trout and salmon stocked elsewhere in the Great Lakes.