A Survey of Sport Fishing in the Illinois Portion of Lake Michigan: March through September 2020

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


A contact creel survey was planned from April 1 to September 30, 2020, covering all legal sport fishing during that period (both by pedestrians and anglers fishing from boats), excluding fishing from chartered boats and smelt fishing. The intent of the survey was to provide reliable estimates of sport fishing activity, sport fish harvest, expenditures for sport fishing, and the quality and distribution of sport fishing for the Illinois portion of Lake Michigan. Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, the survey was not conducted April 1 through May 31, and during June 1 through September 30, a modified protocol was used to collect data. The modified creel protocol resulted in a shortened questionnaire and reduced data collection. Total fishing effort for pedestrians and boaters for the survey period (6/1 – 9/30) was estimated at 179,575 angler-hours. Total harvest estimates for major species during the survey period include 3,374 yellow perch, 72 brown trout, 1,825 rainbow trout, 3,483 lake trout, 12,346 Coho salmon, and 1,506 Chinook salmon. Angler expenditures and travel were not estimated in 2020. The yield value of fish harvested by sport fishing was approximately $747,812. An additional early-season survey was conducted during March 1 to March 31 at Waukegan Harbor, Montrose Harbor, and Calumet Park for pedestrian anglers and Waukegan Harbor and Calumet Park for launched-boat anglers. In total, anglers harvested an estimated 1,401 yellow perch, 70 brown trout, and 1,303 Coho salmon in an estimated total of 8,149 hours of fishing during March. Total expenditures for fishing gear, boats, and motors during March were estimated at $10,242. Another additional survey of sport fishing was conducted during October 2019-February 2020 at a variety of sites in Chicago. Yellow perch anglers harvested an estimated 48,033 yellow perch in an estimated 33,974 hours of angling in this fall and winter period.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
Number of pages48
StatePublished - Aug 31 2021

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report
No.2021 (13)


  • Lake Michigan
  • salmon
  • angling
  • yellow perch
  • Creel Survey


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