I was disturbed that the DNR didnt feel saving the
sauger was worth the effort. The local fisheries person was not real happy
that I suggested she give me suggestions where to look for saugers and
thought I was crazy for remembering saugers being caught in west michigan 30
Professional Walleye fisherman Mark Martin has also been
on a quest to see if any native saugers exist in Michigan and has fished
extensively in former sauger waters with no success.
I did make a proposal to the DNR to purchase sauger fry
from the federal fish hatchery in Wisconsin
and raise them in our club ponds as we did the walleye
fry 25 years ago with great success. but my proposal was unanimously rejected
by the Great Lakes Basin Counsel.
I understand that we would want the right strain of
saugers, which would not cross with the few if any remaining native saugers.
Or which might cross breed with the walleyes.
Saugers were found in west michigan
which matchedthe DNA of the Winnebago/ greenbay sauger(which is the
same water as bay de noc michigan and even closer to grand traverse bay
but the biologist said they were just visiting and not
from here( in my opinion they are the same since connected by less than 60
miles of Lake Michigan water) if they werew the same fish the genetics would
start to drift among "groups" of isolated saugers that move up and down the
We have caught northern pike in Grand Haven Mich. that
have St Joe River Indiana tags/darts in them.
In looking for saugers I found out that their had been a
blue pike that had supposedly gone extinct.
I also noticed that you have a reward for the
"authentic" blue pike.
I have a friend that I hunt and fish with in Canada that
I asked if he heard of such a fish and he said that he caught quite a few of
the 12 years ago, "they were bright blue, a brilliant blue with a
white belly" He also noted that when they caught them ice
fishing in the bright snow they left a blue cast to the snow they were
laying on. And also that they were very tastey, almost sweet taste, very light
flesh. the best fish he has ever eaten.
Im trying to get more info from his father in law who still lives up
there, I think he speaks some english, althoughI may have to get someone who
knows french. Maybe I can talk him into finding the lake and catching a few
I almost went up there for myself but wanted to make sure it wasnt a wild
goose chase and get more details so my fishing gets results. I doubt if the
canadian govt would allow me to use trap nets they seem tough to work with
although a friend of mine in the animal capture business has done free
black bear tagging for them for thier studies in Oba.
I would like suggestions on how to get the Michigan DNR to realize that
we have a responsibility to our native fish first before we plant any
more salmon/steelhead/brown trout but they dont see saugers as a very big bang
for the buck. Im not pushing for saugers to be planted everywhere but at least
a remnant to exist in thier former waters or in waters in michigan that are
now suited for saugers.
I asked them if I got the blue pike from Canada and the DNA was pure blue
pike, if they would try to get a population going and they said most likely
I guess if they dont really want the sauger then they dont want the
hassle of the blue pike.
Im not a green peacer but feel obligated to at least prevent native
species from going extinct. If Im ever blessed to be a grandparent some
day I wouldnt want them to be paging through an old fishing book and ask me
where the saugers and blue pike are and my only answer is that I had a chance
to possibly bring them back but didnt put enough effort into it to see it
If you have any suggestions please let me know, I am calling to see if I
can hire the native americans to catch one for me, although in the back
of my mind I want it alive so the colder the weather the better,
They couldnt have died out every where, maybe if the blue pike are mixed
breeds , they could be kept separate so the blue pike genes could be
maintained as pure as possible and when the technology developes it could be
refined to the original blue pike.
John Vande Berg