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DNR adjusting fish stock will likely affect some businesses

A change in the fish population is likely to affect businesses who work closely with fishermen. (Upnorthlive.com photo)

FRANKFORT, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) - A change in the fish population is likely to affect businesses who work closely with fishermen.

The Department of Natural Resources has plans to limit the amount of Chinook salmon and lake trout in Michigan waters, and now some businesses in Frankfort are wondering what kind of affect that will have on them.

"It's kind of what you make the trip out to be. If you're kind of down in the dumps the whole trip and complaining about how the salmon numbers are down, your guests probably aren’t going to have that good of a time,” said Dave Rommell, Owner of Tiny Bubbles Charters. “Naturally you will lose some clientele. It's just going to happen, but hopefully there will be other people to take their places."

Rommell also has a tackle shop. He said he will likely see sales decrease based on the new stocking adjustments.

The DNR is hoping that by limiting the number of salmon and trout, it'll help out the population of smaller fish the salmon eat.

The owners of Betsie River Campground said around 30-40 percent of the people who stay at their campground over the summer are in town to do some sort of fishing.

"A good portion of the ones we have are the people that are going to come up and fish anyways because that's what they enjoy doing, that's what they like doing,” said Kris Welty, Owner of Betsie River Campground. “We might lose a little bit, but at this point, it doesn't look like we're losing anybody for next year."

According to the DNR, 300,000 Chinook salmon will be stocked in 2017, which is down 46 percent from 2016.

Federally stocked lake trout will be discontinued in Grand Haven, Holland and New Buffalo in 2018.

"It's better to have a few salmon than no salmon at all,” said Rommell. “Right now we're on kind of the verge of if the alewives all go away, if we overstock the fish and the alewives all go away, they’ll probably never come back. You can look at Lake Huron that's kind of what they have on their side of the state."

"If I’m going out fishing, I don’t mind catching maybe the lake trout a little bit. They might not be as fun as the salmon, but they’re still nice fish. This year a lot of people were catching bigger lake trout.”

In the near future, the DNR said Michigan will eliminate its own stocking of lake trout in lake Michigan and replace these fish with steelhead.

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