Lake St. Clair a great North American fishing destination

The Lake St. Clair fishery—which includes fish, people and habitat—is widely regarded as one of the best in North America, and provides significant social and economic benefits. Fish such as yellow perch (the favorite food fish in the Great Lakes) and walleye represent significant protein sources. Economically, the Michigan waters of the Lake St. Clair system generated $36 million in economic activity in 2004 alone. Fishing is, for many, a lot of fun, and as a recreational fishery, it provides many physical and mental benefits to people. Moreover, a healthy fish population equals a more stable ecosystem.

What are the BIG FOUR species in Lake St. Clair?

  • Yellow perch the most sought after species on Lake St. Clair, and provides a robust open water and winter ice fishery. Half of the total fishing effort on Lake St. Clair is devoted to yellow perch, with anglers catching approximately 750,000 each year.
  • Walleye are the target of approximately 30 percent of Lake St. Clair fishing effort, yielding a catch of some 40,000 walleye by Michigan anglers. Roughly 80 percent of the walleye caught on Lake St. Clair are kept.
  •  Smallmouth bass make up about 20 percent of Lake St. Clair’s sport fishery, with more than 100,000 caught each year in the Michigan waters of Lake St. Clair. More a sport fish than a foodsmallmouth bassfish, some 90 percent of the smallmouth caught are released. Smallmouth are responsible for attracting numerous out-of-state anglers and tournaments to Lake St. Clair. Can you guess which lake Bassmaster named as the best bass lake of 2013?
  • The Lake St. Clair Muskellunge (Muskie) fishery is legendary with high catch rates and increasing numbers of large fish. Approximately 30 percent of all charter fishing trips on Lake St. Clair target muskie, and 99 percent of the fish caught are released.

As if these aren’t enough, Lake St. Clair boasts a healthy Lake Sturgeon population (think largest fish in the Great Lakes) and a seasonal salmonid fishery.

The Lake St. Clair fishery is very intense, experiencing more than 22 angler hours per acre, followed most closely by Lake Erie with less than 10 hours per acre. While charter boat excursions have trended downward on Lake Erie, they are the highest in 25 years on Lake St. Clair. This bounty is largely without stocking, thanks to good water quality, diverse habitat, abundant submerged aquatic vegetation, plentiful food for small fish, and sound fisheries management that protects spawning populations.

How do things look for 2014? At a recent Lake St. Clair Fisheries Workshop conducted by Michigan State University Extension and Michigan Sea Grant, biologists from the Michigan DNR Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station stated that self-sustaining stocks of the big four will continue to provide high-quality fishing opportunities from Lake Erie to Port Huron, abundant populations of other species that add more diversity to the fishery, and a seasonal salmonid fishery that will continue to add further diversity.

What’s not to like?  Go fish Lake St. Clair!

Volunteers Needed for Selfridge Air Show
Mr. Muskie - The Swing of the Season
Well we are swinging through the 2014 season. We have wrapped up our Walleye fishing season in the Detroit River. We had some great success as well as many days with limit catches. It was an awesome start to the season and tons of fun was had by all our customers! We found that the early part of the Walleye season produced some huge Walleyes and the fishing was best on the Michigan side or the Detroit River.
Gov. Snyder proclaims June 7-14 Michigan Boating Week
New Fishing Expert
Lake St. Clair Tourism Announces New Fishing Video Blogger, Reporter Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative, a non-profit formed five years ago to promote Lake St. Clair’s many assets, has announced an affiliation with an expert charter fishing captain who will provide regular fishing tips and reports, primarily through 2-5 minute video blogs. The videos will appear on the “Fishing” tab on the website and begin today.
Mr. Muskie Charters - May Madness !
We are now into May and our fishing season is well under way! We have been hitting the Walleyes down in the Detroit River since the start of April. The action has been getting better week by week. The monster Walleye are fewer and far between now but the numbers of Walleye being caught has increased tremendously. We have been catching many more of the good eating size between 18 and 22 inches.
Lake St. Clair Featured on Great Getaways Program
Our Lake St. Clair - Great Getaways will air again across the Country the second Week of May leading up to the Sprint & Splash. It will air locally (check the listings) on Saturday, May 10th at 11:30 a.m. In case you can't see it then, here it is online:
Stop Drowning Boats with Ethanol
After coming out of this great recession, it is likely that we all look for ways to save money where we can as we go through life. But important for boaters to know, even though it may cost less, E15 gasoline is not an option for boaters. The current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires more and more ethanol be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply despite the fuel's harmful effects on engines, including those of boats, but also those in automobiles, motorcycles and small equipment like chainsaws and lawnmowers.
MBIA offers FREE boating publication and safety kit
The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) is offering, free to the public, the 2014 edition of the Boat Michigan Annual Directory and a Boating Safety Information Kit. The Boat Michigan Annual Directory is the official handout at the Detroit Boat Show, Spring Boating Expo and Boating & Outdoor Festival.
The Start to Better Health is at Home!
Getting fit doesn't require signing up for the local yoga or spinning classes. Instead, getting adequate exercise can be found right in your living room. Try out these simple, targeted exercises to stay in shape.
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