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How Salmon Got Their Start In Lake Michigan


Door County is home to many great outdoor activities, from biking at state parks to fishing the rocky shorelines of the peninsula. Many aquatic species call the waters of Door County home, but there is one species that took up residence in Lake Michigan more recently.

The invasion of this small species took place in the early 1930s and 40s through the Welland Canal near Niagara Falls. Alewives quickly became a problem with massive die-offs due to their overpopulation. It became stinky to say the least! Fisheries managers had to come up with a solution quick. The old saying 'big fish eats little fish' is what they devised. They introduced a strain of King Salmon from the Pacific Northwest into the Great Lakes. The rest is history. The introduction of salmon has given birth to a multimillion dollar sport fishing industry on the Great Lakes and continues to be a great sport for many.

With the salmon spawn in full swing at Strawberry Creek in Sturgeon Bay and Besadny in Kewaunee, realize the benefits a species introduction can make both from an ecological standpoint and an economical standpoint.


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