- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

MANISTIQUE, Mich. (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources said an additional 150,000 steelhead trout will be reared at Thompson State Fish Hatchery in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the coming year.

The fish from the hatchery in Manistique will be stocked in spring 2016. They will be about 6 inches long - roughly 2 inches shorter than steelhead the DNR usually releases.

The steelhead is one of Michigan’s top sport fish. Demand by anglers has outpaced the DNR’s 1.15 million capacity and the department has been looking for ways to increase production, the DNR said.

The increase in steelhead will be made as state officials move brown trout production from Thompson State Fish Hatchery to other hatcheries.

“We are making a calculated move to shift production sites and rearing densities of brown trout in order to provide some space to rear the extra steelhead,” Jim Dexter, chief of the DNR Fisheries Division, said in a statement. “These steelhead have been requested for years by managers to address the challenging and ever-changing conditions of our Great Lakes and inland trout lakes.”

Brown trout fingerlings currently on inventory at Thompson State Fish Hatchery will be stocked as fingerlings. The changes are possible because the DNR isn’t rearing as many brown trout as it once did. Past brown trout stocking locations have either become naturally self-sustaining and don’t require stocking, for example.

In the long-term, the DNR said the Thompson hatchery will need infrastructure improvements to keep up with increased demand.

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Online:

http://www.michigan.gov/hatcheries

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