The daily possession limit for walleye in Michigan’s waters of Lake Erie will remain at six through April 30, 2013, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.

In 2011 Michigan adopted a process for setting regulations that allows the DNR to use real-time population data instead of using year-old survey results. This process parallels one adopted by Ohio in 2010.

“This regulation process is critical to helping us manage walleye in Lake Erie in a timely manner,” said DNR Lake Erie Basin Coordinator Todd Kalish. “In order to do that, we have to set regulations in March instead of the previous autumn.”

Michigan’s daily possession limit for walleye on Lake Erie is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the aegis of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The TAC is generally based on overall abundance of walleye. The commission establishes quotas for each jurisdiction based on the percentage of habitat for adult walleye in each jurisdiction’s waters of the lake. The daily limit is based on a formula that projects how many walleye anglers can keep but still remain within the quota.

See the table below for an explanation of the formula used to set the daily possession limit.

The 2012 Total Allowable Catch for Lake Erie is 3.487 million fish, making Michigan’s quota 203,000 fish.

As a result of this regulation process, the possession limit for walleye on Lake Erie is not set until TACs are determined each March, after the annual Michigan Fishing Guide goes to press. Anglers must check for changes annually. The DNR has developed a strategy to communicate the walleye possession limit that includes a statewide press release, informational flyers, an updated online Fishing Guide, and a pre-recorded message at 888-367-7060 to inform anglers of the limit.

There are no changes to either the fishing season or size limit for walleyes on Lake Erie.

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