Fish Species In Lake Michigan: A Complete Guide

Introduction

Sobat Penurut, Lake Michigan is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. It is home to a diverse range of fish species that attract anglers from all over the world. Understanding the different fish species in Lake Michigan can help you plan your fishing trip and improve your chances of catching your desired species. In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide to the fish species in Lake Michigan, including their physical characteristics, habitat, diet, and behavior. Let’s dive in!

Types of Fish Species in Lake Michigan

1. Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, are one of the most popular sportfish in Lake Michigan. They are the largest salmon species found in the lake and can grow up to 40 inches in length. Chinook salmon have a metallic greenish-blue color on their backs and silvery sides. They are known for their aggressive behavior and are highly sought after by anglers. Chinook salmon feed on alewife, smelt, and other small fish.

2. Coho Salmon

Coho salmon are another popular sportfish in Lake Michigan. They are smaller than Chinook salmon and can grow up to 30 inches in length. Coho salmon are known for their acrobatic behavior and are often referred to as “silver bullets.” They have a metallic silver color on their sides and a bluish-green color on their backs. Coho salmon feed on alewife, smelt, and other small fish.

3. Lake Trout

Lake trout are a native species to Lake Michigan. They are the largest trout species found in the lake and can grow up to 40 inches in length. Lake trout have a grayish-green color on their backs and silvery sides. They are known for their aggressive behavior and are often caught in deep waters. Lake trout feed on a variety of fish species, including alewife, smelt, and sculpin.

4. Brown Trout

Brown trout are a popular sportfish in Lake Michigan. They are smaller than lake trout and can grow up to 30 inches in length. Brown trout have a brownish-green color on their backs and sides with yellow spots. They are known for their elusive behavior and are often caught by trolling. Brown trout feed on a variety of fish species, including alewife, sculpin, and crayfish.

5. Steelhead

Steelhead, also known as rainbow trout, are a migratory species in Lake Michigan. They are similar to brown trout in appearance but have a more silvery color. Steelhead are known for their acrobatic behavior and are often caught by fly fishing. They feed on a variety of fish species, including alewife, smelt, and insects.

6. Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are a popular sportfish in Lake Michigan. They are a non-native species that were introduced in the 1800s. Smallmouth bass have a bronze color on their backs and sides with dark vertical bars. They are known for their aggressive behavior and are often caught by casting lures. Smallmouth bass feed on a variety of fish species, including alewife, crayfish, and insects.

7. Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are a common species in Lake Michigan. They have a yellowish-green color on their backs and sides with dark vertical bars. Yellow perch are known for their schooling behavior and are often caught in large numbers. They feed on a variety of small fish and insects.

The Physical Characteristics of Fish Species in Lake Michigan

Understanding the physical characteristics of fish species in Lake Michigan can help you identify the species you catch and improve your fishing techniques. Here are some key physical characteristics of the most popular fish species in Lake Michigan:

1. Chinook Salmon

– Metallic greenish-blue color on their backs and silvery sides

– Large size, up to 40 inches in length

– Black spots on their tails and upper body

– Sharp teeth and strong jaw muscles

2. Coho Salmon

– Metallic silver color on their sides and bluish-green color on their backs

– Smaller size, up to 30 inches in length

– Black spots on their tails and upper body

– Sharp teeth and strong jaw muscles

3. Lake Trout

– Grayish-green color on their backs and silvery sides

– Large size, up to 40 inches in length

– Light spots on their upper body and fins

– Adipose fin, which is a small fin on their back between the dorsal and tail fins

4. Brown Trout

– Brownish-green color on their backs and sides with yellow spots

– Smaller size, up to 30 inches in length

– Red or orange spots on their sides and fins

– Adipose fin, which is a small fin on their back between the dorsal and tail fins

5. Steelhead

– Silvery color on their sides and back

– Similar appearance to brown trout, but with a more silvery color

– Small black spots on their upper body and fins

– Adipose fin, which is a small fin on their back between the dorsal and tail fins

6. Smallmouth Bass

– Bronze color on their backs and sides with dark vertical bars

– Small size, up to 20 inches in length

– Large mouth with sharp teeth

– Red eyes and dark gill covers

7. Yellow Perch

– Yellowish-green color on their backs and sides with dark vertical bars

– Small size, up to 12 inches in length

– Rounded dorsal fin and small mouth

– Dark vertical bars on their sides

The Habitat of Fish Species in Lake Michigan

The habitat of fish species in Lake Michigan varies depending on the species. Understanding the habitat of different fish species can help you locate them and improve your chances of catching them. Here are some key habitat characteristics of the most popular fish species in Lake Michigan:

1. Chinook Salmon

– Found in deep waters near offshore reefs and structures

– Prefer water temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall

2. Coho Salmon

– Found in shallower waters near the shore and river mouths

– Prefer water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall

3. Lake Trout

– Found in deep waters near offshore reefs and structures

– Prefer water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall

4. Brown Trout

– Found in shallower waters near the shore and river mouths

– Prefer water temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall

5. Steelhead

– Found in deep waters near offshore reefs and structures

– Prefer water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the spring

6. Smallmouth Bass

– Found in rocky areas near the shore and offshore reefs

– Prefer water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in shallow waters in the spring

7. Yellow Perch

– Found in shallow waters near the shore and weed beds

– Prefer water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit

– Spawn in shallow waters in the spring

Fish Species Physical Characteristics Habitat Diet Behavior
Chinook Salmon Metallic greenish-blue color on their backs and silvery sides; large size, up to 40 inches in length; black spots on their tails and upper body; sharp teeth and strong jaw muscles Found in deep waters near offshore reefs and structures; prefer water temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall Alewife, smelt, and other small fish Aggressive behavior; highly sought after by anglers
Coho Salmon Metallic silver color on their sides and bluish-green color on their backs; smaller size, up to 30 inches in length; black spots on their tails and upper body; sharp teeth and strong jaw muscles Found in shallower waters near the shore and river mouths; prefer water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall Alewife, smelt, and other small fish Acrobatic behavior; often referred to as “silver bullets”
Lake Trout Grayish-green color on their backs and silvery sides; large size, up to 40 inches in length; light spots on their upper body and fins; adipose fin, which is a small fin on their back between the dorsal and tail fins Found in deep waters near offshore reefs and structures; prefer water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall Alewife, smelt, and sculpin Aggressive behavior; often caught in deep waters
Brown Trout Brownish-green color on their backs and sides with yellow spots; smaller size, up to 30 inches in length; red or orange spots on their sides and fins; adipose fin, which is a small fin on their back between the dorsal and tail fins Found in shallower waters near the shore and river mouths; prefer water temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the fall Alewife, sculpin, and crayfish Elusive behavior; often caught by trolling
Steelhead Silvery color on their sides and back; similar appearance to brown trout, but with a more silvery color; small black spots on their upper body and fins; adipose fin, which is a small fin on their back between the dorsal and tail fins Found in deep waters near offshore reefs and structures; prefer water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in tributary streams and rivers in the spring Alewife, smelt, and insects Acrobatic behavior; often caught by fly fishing
Smallmouth Bass Bronze color on their backs and sides with dark vertical bars; small size, up to 20 inches in length; large mouth with sharp teeth; red eyes and dark gill covers Found in rocky areas near the shore and offshore reefs; prefer water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in shallow waters in the spring Alewife, crayfish, and insects Aggressive behavior; often caught by casting lures
Yellow Perch Yellowish-green color on their backs and sides with dark vertical bars; small size, up to 12 inches in length; rounded dorsal fin and small mouth; dark vertical bars on their sides Found in shallow waters near the shore and weed beds; prefer water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit; spawn in shallow waters in the spring Small fish and insects Schooling behavior; often caught in large numbers

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best time to fish for salmon in Lake Michigan?

The best time to fish for salmon in Lake Michigan is in the early morning or late afternoon, when the water temperatures are cooler. The fall season is also a popular time for salmon fishing, as the fish are spawning in tributary streams and rivers.

2. What is the best bait to use for lake trout?

The best bait to use for lake trout is live bait