A yellow perch summit will take place March 22 in Chicago for interested stakeholders. The summit will bring together state (including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources), federal, tribal and academia experts to discuss past, present and future status and management of yellow perch in Lake Michigan.

“Yellow perch are one of the most sought-after species in Lake Michigan, and we are committed to working with partners and the angling community throughout the basin to protect and enhance this fishery,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “This summit will provide a great opportunity to discuss what we’ve learned through years of collaborative research and gather input on future management objectives and direction.”

The summit is open to the public and will be held at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CST). It will be hosted by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Interested participants can register for the summit for free by visiting the Great Lakes Fishery Commission online or by calling 847-294-4134 until March 15. After that date, a $20 fee will be charged. People also can participate via the Web through a link available on the registration website.

The Lake Michigan yellow perch population experienced a rapid decline in the early 1990s. As a result, management agencies throughout the Lake Michigan basin implemented a variety of strategies to better understand and prevent further population declines.

The yellow perch summit will consist of a morning session to convey what diverse experts have learned through extensive research of the Lake Michigan yellow perch population since the 1990s and an afternoon breakout session to gather input and discuss future management options.

“Effective yellow perch management requires collaboration and input from diverse agencies and stakeholders throughout the Lake Michigan basin,” said Todd Kalish, DNR Lake Michigan basin coordinator. “We encourage anyone who has an interest in yellow perch fishing to attend so they can learn from diverse experts and convey their experiences and ideas.”

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission was established in 1955 by the Canadian-U.S. Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries. The commission coordinates fisheries research, controls the invasive sea lamprey, and facilitates cooperative fishery management among the state, provincial, tribal and federal management agencies.

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