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Thank you, fisheries researchers

Fishing is a big part of Northeast Michigan’s way of life and its economy.

From charter fishing boats to the Michigan Brown Trout Festival to private anglers who flock to the area in the warmer months to researchers who visit the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, you can’t separate a healthy Lake Huron fishery from a healthy Northeast Michigan.

As News staff writer Julie Riddle recently highlighted, we gauge that health thanks to Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries researchers who work the waters out of Alpena from April to November.

We know, thanks to those researchers, for example, that lake trout are thriving in Thunder Bay, although not so much in the southern end of Lake Huron. We know that walleye are swimming in greater numbers than researchers have seen in nearly 30 years around Saginaw Bay, and smallmouth bass topped all previous data collected since 1969 in the far northwest end of the lake.

That kind of information helps fishermen both commercial and private decide where to cast their lines, and a healthy lake trout population here could draw more people to come try to pull a few of them out of the depths.

So we say thank you to those fisheries researchers who help collect that information.

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