Lake St. Clair – A Great North American Fishing Destination
Lake St. Clair is widely regarded as one of the best fishing lakes in North America with muskie and smallmouth and walleye, oh my!
by Steve Stewart, Michigan State University Extension
Lake St. Clair boasts some of the best fishing in the Great Lakes and is home to yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth bass and muskellunge - the "big four" species of the lake.
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 food fish, 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 salmon fishery.... read more at Lake St. Clair – A great North American fishing destination Photo credit: Google
Lake St. Clair Services for you and your boat
Calendars of Events & Activities around Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, St. Clair River, North Channel, Middle Channel, South Channel Please note **Air Show date change with Blue Angels @ Selfridge Air Base on Anchor Bay is now September 6th& 7th