Michigan officials weigh fish farming in Great Lakes

John Flesher
Associated Press

Traverse City — Michigan officials say they’ve been approached by entrepreneurs interested in establishing fish farming operations in Great Lakes waters.

Officials with the Department of Environmental Quality tell The Associated Press they’ve heard from two operators interested in raising rainbow trout in netted enclosures in Lakes Michigan and Huron. One location could be the Little and Big Bays de Noc off Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Brad Wurfel of the DEQ says so-called “net pen aquaculture” hasn’t been done on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, although there are fish farms in Canadian waters of Lake Huron.

Wurfel says no permit applications have been submitted. He says the state will establish an expert panel to consider pros and cons, and protecting the health of the Great Lakes will be the top priority.