Midwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Improving Fisheries Management in the Great Lakes through Mass Marking

April 13, 2011

The second mass marking season for hatchery raised fish is underway in the Great Lakes. The Midwest Region Fisheries Program is using automated tagging trailers to tag fish at state hatcheries in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Tagged fish will be stocked into lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior in 2012.

"The common objective for the Service and its state and tribal partners is to tag all Chinook stocked into the Great Lakes, and use the information from tagged fish recovered from fisheries and agency assessments to improve fisheries management, and measure the impact to fisheries and the ecosystem," said Charles Bronte, a fishery biologist and data analyst from the FWS's Green Bay National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO). Bronte also serves as the FWS lead for mass marking implementation in the Great Lakes.
Congressional staff from Wisconsin and Illinois took part in mass marking demonstrations to see the automated tagging trailers in action. The mass marking system, already a proven method for marking salmon in the Pacific Northwest, provides the efficiency necessary to improve sport fishery management and native species restoration in the Great Lakes.

Staff from the offices of Senators Kohl and Johnson, and staff from the offices of Congressmen Petrie, Ribble and Duffy, attended a mass marking demonstration on April 6 at Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin. The Service plans to stock more than 1.2 million chinook salmon at three state fish hatcheries in Wisconsin, including Wild Rose, Kettle Moraine and Les Voigt.

Staff from the offices of Senator Durbin, and staff from the offices of Congressmen Schock and Schilling attended a mass marking demonstration at Jake Wolf State Fish Hatchery in Illinois in late March. The automated tagging trailers marked more than 300,000 chinook salmon in a week's time at Jake Wolf. Visit the Midwest Region Flickr page for an image slideshow of the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/sets/72157626434376522/

Representatives from the Fish and Wildlife Service's Midwest Region Fisheries Program including Mike Weimer, Fisheries ARD and Aaron Woldt, FWCO Supervisor, joined Chuck Bronte and Mark Holey, fishery biologists from the Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, and representatives from the state natural resource agencies at the demonstration events.

USFWS Photo

Last updated: February 12, 2013