MICHIGAN (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Resources finalized a plan to guide the department’s management of walleye in inland waters aiming to maximize both angler satisfaction and the ecological benefits of the state’s walleye fisheries.

The plan was finalized after consideration of public input on the draft walleye management which was asked for during February of 2021. The plan focuses on inland lakes because walleye management in Great Lakes waters is addressed in various other department-approved management of rehabilitation plans according to the DNR. The new plan gives an overview of:

  • The status of the species in Michigan.
  • The biology and ecology of inland walleye populations.
  • Angler perceptions about walleye management and fishing opportunities.
  • Previous management efforts.

The plan identifies several management goals. Goals broadly address ecology and social characteristics of walleye fisheries which are both important to successful species management. The plan also gives a formalized management framework for walleye accounting for habitat suitability and gives recommended actions to efficiently and effectively protect and conserve walleye populations throughout the state. Seth Herbst, lead author and manager of the Aquatic and Regulatory Affairs Unit in the DNR Fisheries Division says walleye is an ecologically important species and receives substantial attention from anglers.

“It is essential that we formalize and implement statewide manage strategies to maintain and enhance walleye populations during a time frame when this species is threatened by changing habitats, including establishments of detrimental aquatic invasive species,” Herbst said. “Effective management leads to robust walleye populations, and that means diverse fishing opportunities for anglers.”

The management plan was also developed with assistance from Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Department faculty. Tribal governments also provided consultation. Feedback was considered from other state natural resource agencies, citizen advisory committees and anglers. The DNR says they appreciate the input and comments provided by the public. Learn more about walleye and management efforts online and also review the final plan.