Anglers fishing Lake Michigan’s open waters and tributaries for chinook and lake trout are being asked to donate the heads of the fish they harvest to aid research critical to keeping fishing strong.

“With the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more tagged fish are being stocked now than ever before,” says Cheryl Masterson, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries technician. “The tag in the fish’s snout has a number that tells us when and where the fish was stocked. To learn as much as we can about the behavior of the fish in the lake, we would like to collect heads from tagged sport-caught fish.”

Only those harvested fish missing the small back top fin, known as the adipose fin, are being sought, because the missing fin is a sign that the fish likely received a tag in its snout. For several years now, federal and state natural resource agencies have been marking hatchery-raised chinook and trout by safely implanting a tiny steel tag etched with a number relating to where and when the fish was hatched and stocked. Now that the fish are growing large enough to be kept by anglers, researchers are collecting chinook salmon and trout heads to look for the steel tags.

DNR has partnered with local businesses in most major ports along the lakeshore where anglers can drop off fish heads, Masterson says. Each business has been given a supply of forms for anglers to fill out and bags to use for freezing the head. Anglers should include the following information with each head – date of capture and capture location, along with the fish species, length, weight, and gender, she said.

Read the rest of the news release:

Collection Locations

  • Algoma – Algoma True Value, 410 2nd St., 920-487-3374
  • Green Bay – Department of Natural Resources, 2984 Shawano Ave., (Hours – Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.) 920-662-5100
  • Kenosha – Gander Mountain, 6802 118th Ave., 262-857-3757
  • Kewaunee – Accurate Marine and Storage, 203 Dodge St., 920-388-2326
  • Marinette – A&K Feed, Seed, & Bait, 1616 Shore Dr., 715-732-6100
  • Milwaukee area – R&R Sports – Fishin’ Hole, 3115 E. Layton Ave., Cudahy, 414-481-6888
  • Milwaukee – DNR, UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., (Hours vary – Monday-Thursday – call ahead), 414-382-7929
  • Peshtigo – Peshtigo Shell Gas Station, 815 French St., 715-582-3681
  • Peshtigo – Department of Natural Resources, 101 N. Ogden Rd., (Hours – Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), 715-582-5000
  • Port Washington – The Bait Box, 215 E. Washington St., 262-284-9355
  • Racine area – Turk’s Bait, 2950 93rd St., Sturtevant, 262-886-3061
  • Racine area – Department of Natural Resources, 9531 Rayne Road, Suite 4, Sturtevant, (Hours – Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), 262-884-2300
  • Sheboygan – The Wharf, 733 Riverfront Dr., 920-458-4406
  • Sheboygan area – Department of Natural Resources, 1155 Pilgrim Road, Plymouth, (Hours – Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), 920-892-8756
  • Sturgeon Bay – Howie’s Tackle, 1309 Green Bay Road, 920-746-9916
  • Sturgeon Bay – Department of Natural Resources, 110 S. Neenah Ave., (Hours – Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), 920-746-2860

Two Rivers – Seagull Sports Marina, 1400 Lake St., 920-794-7533

Image courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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