Commercial fishing contributions to restocking fish program in the Great Lakes

Asked March 15, 2020, 1:10 PM EDT

Do commercial fishing companies contribute monies to our fish restocking programs? If so what is their annual dollar amount ? How much do us as public fishermen contribute annually? With the commercial fishing companies wanting to keep more and more species, do they contribute enough money to support this position? Thank you Thank you

Huron County Michigan

1 Response

Hi there,

Apologies for the long delay in a response. Your question is rather loaded and implies that fish restocking, and those who pay for fish restocking, is directly the reason that fish harvest is possible or should be allowed. Fish stocking is just one of a handful of management tools that several agencies, states, tribes and nations all participate in in the Great Lakes to manage our resources. The topic of fishery management in the Great Lakes is vastly complex and includes many modes of fishery management, of which stocking is only one of. In addition, because fisheries are a supposed public resource, who has access to that resource is a extremely complex social construct and plays into value systems, economics, and politics as opposed to a simple "transaction" type system where you pay a fair price and then receive the benefit.

I am working on a writing a more detailed article on the MSU Extension website that explains the management system, how it is funded, and the factors that influence fishery management decisions. Once it is posted I will add the link here, but in light of the recent COVID-19 situation, I have been delayed in producing this content. Again apologies for the delay and look for a more detailed response soon.