|Chinook Salmon swimming up a Lake Michigan tributary stream during the fall spawning run.|
Returning Salmon in Lake Michigan appear to be in great shape in 2011 according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Fisheries manager Scott Hansen reports that the Chinook return at Door County's Strawberry Creek took a very positive turn after generally declining trends in recent years of numbers and size of fish returning to the weir. "We handled approximately 5,400 Chinooks over 6 harvest days this season. Our hatchery system collected about 2.3 million eggs for next year's Chinook stocking efforts. The improved physical condition of the fish has yet to be quantified but was quite evident while handling fish throughout the run. The average size of eggs increased considerably this year from last year, another encouraging sign. Although some increased numbers of fish stocked at Strawberry Creek the last couple years can account for some of the increase in returns, the remainder is simply a higher proportion of fish returning."
I was able to photograph many of the returning fish and the images can be viewed in my salmon gallery.