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Questions about MI Hunting/Fishing Law Got a question about MI hunting/fishing law that you just can't figure out from the guide book?

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2001, 07:55 AM
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Hi Boehr. Here's another law that I have to file in my "I don't get it" category. In April, May and June we have to use a net with a handle NO LONGER THAN 14". I don't understand the reasoning for that.
Number 1, it's down-right dangerous for us in small boats to lean over the side to net a fish with such a short handle.
Number 2, you have to get almost on top of the fish and risk a face full of hooks.
Number 3, if one chooses to release the fish, you have to fight it until the fish is almost life-less in order to retrieve ones lure.
OK, I guess we can row the boat to shore and get out and fight the fish from the bank, but that all takes time and stresses the fish un-necessarily.
What is the purpose of that law? There's already laws on the books about netting fish. Is it to deter a borderline violator from just netting fish? Why do we have to sacrifice something in order to keep some honest? There's laws on the books that already address the illegal taking of fish with a net.
Did I miss the purpose of such a law?

Thanks again, Ralf
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Old 04-06-2001, 08:24 AM
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Thats only on Trout streams. I agree, 14" isn't much, if they want to deter poaching, 36" seems a bit more reasonable. At least people won't be risking a quick bath trying to land a fish, especially in a canoe.
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Old 04-06-2001, 09:29 PM
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Well I can't say for sure this is the reason because it's more of a guess than anything that comes from experience. The net sizes have been around for designated trout streams for a long time. Now don't forget, all Type 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 streams in the trout and salmon guide are NOT designated trout streams. Most of the designated streams are fished by wading, but not all. Some streams have big runs of suckers and some use to have big runs of smelt (not any more for smelt ). That kept smelt and sucker nets out of the trout streams to take those trout illegally, take trout by accident, or unknowingly screw up a trout fishermen's day when he was working a particular section of stream with their fly rod etc.
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Old 04-07-2001, 07:42 AM
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Thanks Boehr. I guess it's my inquisative mind.
I thought it was to prevent the netting of steelhead that the law targets.
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Old 04-07-2001, 08:04 AM
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Shoeman, I think you're more on it. I asked the same kind of question at some of the trout meetings I've been to. Poaching Steelies off gravel sounds like the reason for it. I think they are going to change that rule. It's much easier to poach salmon off gravel with a long handle than steelies. Plus, the rivers are so busy now, I don't think anyone would be chasing steelhead around with a net. It's one of those "old" laws and, like I said, I wouldn't be suprised to see it changed in a few years.
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Old 04-07-2001, 08:27 AM
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Another sacrifice we have to make because of a select few.
Ok let's outlaw driving between the hours of 11pm and 3am because some drive drunk?
That law should be changed. Why should I be forced to use a hand net because of the temptation to some?
Is there a way to bring this up to Lawmakers?
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Old 04-07-2001, 02:29 PM
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I'll have to disagree with you a little Bob, rivers are to crowed for those people to use a net to take steelies anymore, how I wish. There are many places where a person can net fish, steelies or otherwise and nobdy knows the difference. Also, as I posted above, the spring run also includes especially suckers, and it does keep those people, fishing perfectly legally for suckers, from getting into a pissing contest with a fly fishermen fishing for those steelies too. Heck, even fishermen fishing streams get into pissing contests with each other because everyone thinks the hole their fishing should be their's all the time and don't want other fishing their hole, I'm sure you can testify to that fact Bob. Now as far as changing the law, I don't care one way or the other. Our problem will still exist, the poaching of those steelies and the conflicts between fishermen.

As far as getting the law changed, get support from fishing clubs and take it up to the NRC.

Last edited by boehr; 04-07-2001 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 04-07-2001, 02:57 PM
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Actually Boehr, you've got a point. The small creeks that open after the last Saturday in April would offer a tempation to scoop something up. I guess I don't see it as a widespread problem. It seems most steelhead fishermen hit the bigger rivers with extended seasons in March and April and lately, most steelies are gone by May 1. I don't personally know of anyone that has gotten a ticket for it. I think most have gotten warnings unless they were clearly up to no good. I know, two years ago, Mike Rademacher told me that he caught a couple guys shooting spawning steelhead with a fish arrow on the closed Little South Branch of the PM. That's a classic. I guess the bulk of the steelhead fishermen I see are a pretty ethical group of guys, but there's a very good chance that you've had dealings with a much shadier group of characters. But, I got the feeling from Tom Rosich that they might change it, to simplify the rules, in the future.
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Iíd like to dispel the myth that the DNRís main job is to manage wildlife.
It isnít.
DNR officials manage people. You. Me. Everyone who picks up a gun or a bow. We, in turn, help them to manage wildlife populations by killing more or fewer of the animals we choose to hunt.
John McCoy
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Old 04-07-2001, 10:31 PM
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I can't say nobody has never received a ticket for net size but I can say I have never issued a ticket for net size in 17 years being a field officer always along the great lakes in areas with spring steelhead runs. I can say I have wrote a lot of tickets for taking steelhead with guns, spears, nets, snag hooks, foul hooking fish, hands, and just about every other imaginable way you can think of to take fish illegally. Like I said, I don't care one way or the other about what size handle the law requires because our officers will likely be waiting for those that take steelie illegally to get a steelie before they ticket them anyway. They won't get a ticket for the size of the net, it will be for taking steelhead illegally and will include restitution for the fish ($10 per pound) in addition to the fine and court cost.
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