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Fisheries


Michigan
Michigan

Employing only a few hundred workers, commercial fishing is still recovering from the invasion of the sea lamprey, an eellike fish that nearly wiped out the multimillion-dollar Great Lakes fishing industry. First appearing in Lake Huron in the late 1930s, the parasite had spread to Lake Superior by the early 1950s. After testing thousands of chemicals, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service found a poison that eliminates the lamprey without affecting other fish. The catch consists mostly of whitefish, salmon, lake trout, chub, yellow perch, catfish, and carp. Sport fishing is now more important than commercial fishing on most of the Great Lakes.

Lumbering in Michigan is not of major importance economically, although it does service thriving paper and furniture-manufacturing industries. During the latter part of the 19th century, until the turn of the century, Michigan was a leading lumbering state. Sawmilling towns grew up along the Great Lakes at river mouths, where the streams provided access to the lumber of the interior. Such towns included Oscoda on the Au Sable, and Saginaw and Bay City at the mouth of the Saginaw.

The first trees to be felled were white pines. As they were exhausted, lumbermen turned to the hardwoods. Hundreds of thousands of acres of bleak cutover land long remained as a monument to the greedy timbering policy that prevailed. Many of the boomtowns have since become ghost towns.

Lumbering in Michigan concentrates on secondary growth, and pulp and plywood predominate among wood products. More than half the timber for pulp comes from the Upper Peninsula. Spruces and hemlocks are the major species cut for pulp. The western part of the Upper Peninsula also furnishes most of the hardwoods used in the veneer and furniture industries. The area around Escanaba on the Upper Peninsula is the source of most of the bird’s-eye maple in the world. "Michigan" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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