As fishing season begins, the Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that department personnel will be collecting data at lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports about anglers’ fishing experiences this year.

DNR creel clerks will ask anglers how long they fished, what species they were targeting, and how many fish were harvested and/or released. In some cases, clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and take scale samples.

These efforts are part of the DNR’s Statewide Angler Survey Program, a long-term monitoring program designed to track recreational fisheries across the Great Lakes.

“The point of the whole program is to characterize how many fish are harvested, how many hours anglers spend fishing, and what fish they are targeting,” said DNR fisheries biologist Tracy Kolb. “We use this information to manage fisheries across the state.”

The DNR appreciates anglers’ cooperation as it usually only takes a couple of minutes to answer the creel clerks’ questions.

Anglers interested in seeing the results from surveys of Great Lakes ports in previous years can find them online at

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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