The Department of Natural Resources is using the Thunder Bay and Au Sable rivers as "guinea pigs" if you will in an experiment that, if successful, could provide a fishing bonanza for Lake Huron sportsmen for years to come.
Based on the success of raising Atlantic salmon by Lake Superior State University students, Atlantics have been stocked this year in both rivers. As the fish mature, hopefully they will be implanted with the desire to return to those rivers and spawn. While the Thunder Bay River will actually be too warm in July when Atlantics reproduce, it is expected the fish will congregate in the bay outside the river to spawn and thus, right around Brown Trout Festival time each year, should provide anglers with a new species to pursue.
DNR biologist Jim Johnson said it takes two years for Atlantics to mature, thus it will be a while before the success of this experiment is known. However, biologists are hopeful that Lake Huron will be to the Atlantics liking, and a new species soon will be available for big lake fishers.