HARBOR BEACH, Mich. – Michigan is exploring the possibility of commercial fishing for whitefish in southern Lake Huron.

The state Department of Natural Resources says it issued a research permit to a commercial fisher to explore lake whitefish populations. Starting this month, large mesh trap nets will be allowed in experimental fishing grounds several miles south of Harbor Beach and north of Port Sanilac.

The DNR says research is planned over the next three years while the DNR monitors and evaluates the fish population and looks at long-term potential for commercial fishing.

The Michigan waters of southern Lake Huron haven't been commercially fished in five decades, but commercial fishing is established in Canadian waters. The DNR's Fisheries Division says there could be an abundant stock of lake whitefish available for harvest.

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