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MDNR Says Earlier Bass Season Good For Michigan

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by djkimmel, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. djkimmel

    djkimmel

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    At the March 20, 2014 Michigan Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee hearing on Senate Bill 869 (SB 869), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Legislative Liaison Trevor VanDyke stated the MDNR fully supports eliminating the existing bass season limits from state law because recent science has proven that some of their concerns they have had in the past are no longer as large of a concern. Giving flexibility to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to set an earlier season will be good for everyone in Michigan.

    Here is the entire MDNR statement from the televised and recorded hearing (MDNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter was also present as Trevor VanDyke gave the MDNR statement):

    After the MDNR’s Trevor VanDyke finished their statement, Chairman Senator Hansen asked MDNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter if he had anything to add to the MDNR statement. Jim said, “Thank you Senator. No. I think everything has been said. We’re all about providing more opportunity for anglers and this would be a great chance to do just that. Pretty simple move for us. Right now, we have about 5 months or so of the year that anglers can’t get out there and take advantage of getting on the water to fish for bass and this would provide that opportunity to the Natural Resources Commission to do that.

    Senator Hansen asked Chief Dexter, “Now it’s my understanding that there are only 4 states out of the 49 that have bass that actually have a closed season?”

    Chief Dexter replied, “Yeah, I believe – I think that’s right. Four states that have some type of closure. We are one of them.”

    SB 869 is sponsored by the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee Chairman Senator Geoff Hansen, and co-sponsored by Senators Jones, Casperson, Booher, Marleau, Janson and Emmons. Committee Chairman Senator Hansen introduced SB 869 discussion with the following introduction that passing SB 869 would:

    Dan Kimmel testified in support of SB 869 for the Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation. MUCC Legislative Affairs Manager Matt Evans turned in a supporting statement for the MUCC stating, in observance of the time factor at the hearing that he would not speak as everything had been covered well by the other supporters.

    The Committee passed SB 869 5-0 unanimously reporting with a favorable recommendation and a recommendation for immediate effect. Under Michigan law a bill must be read three times before the Senate and the House before it can be passed though usually the reading just included the title of the bill. After passage with favorable recommendation SB 869 was printed in the Senate journal and the Senate resolves into the Committee of the Whole. No amendments were offered to SB 869 and after the required Third Reading SB 869 passed the Michigan Senate unanimously 37 yes votes with 1 excused.

    SB 869 has been sent to the Michigan House and referred to the House Natural Resources Committee chaired by Representative Andrea LaFontaine (R, District 32 near Lake St. Clair). I have contacted Rep. LaFontaine and will be submitting written information similar to the following Senate statement below. We are waiting for notice that SB 869 has been added to an agenda for committee hearing. In the meantime, you could visit the committee page linked above and send contacts to the committee chair and members urging them to support SB 869.

    The goal is to get SB 869 recommended favorably without amendment with immediate effect by the House Natural Resources Committee, then approved by 2/3 or more of the Michigan House so it can go to the Governor. In this ideal circumstance the bill would become law as soon as Governor Snyder signs and files the bill with the Secretary of State.

    SB 869 is a fairly simple bill since it only displays the present statute language from Public Act (PA) 451 of 1994, entitled "Natural resources and environmental protection act," amending section 48716 (MCL 324.48716), as added by 1995 PA 57 by striking subsection (a) Largemouth and smallmouth black bass from the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day to December 31, except in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers, in which waters the open season is from the third Saturday in June to December 31. and moving the other subsections up one letter.

    Resources
    Bill Analysis of SB 869 – Version reported by Committee (PDF)
    Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation Testimony – March 20, 2014 testimony in support of SB 869 (PDF)
    The Legislative Process in Michigan – Student’s Guide (PDF)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  2. tightline24

    tightline24

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    I really like the sounds of this. A lot of other states that offer great bass fishing opportunities provide a longer season as well, do they not?


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  3. nowicki2005

    nowicki2005

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    Why do you need a longer bass season? What are you going to do target them while ice fishing?

    We don't need a longer bass season. I am going to hate this year with bass bedding even later this year. Couple that with the fish kills and weeds being way down this year, a lot of people will be keeping a lot of big bass unfortunately. Also, most people mishandle a bass out of water. I watch a lot of people hold them in a manner that is prone to breaking their jaw and taking forever to snap pics, lay on the boat to measure, etc.

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  4. alex-v

    alex-v

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    According to the first msg in the thread it is more than a lot of other states, it is 45 other states have no closed season which is about as long as an open season can get.:):)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  5. john warren

    john warren

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    i guess i like this,,, if it keeps the bass fishermen busy and away from the good fish, then i guess i can get behind it.
     
  6. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

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    Well Dan, after time has proven I was so absolutely incorrect about my concerns of a detrimental effect upon bass populations with the early C&R season, all I can say is have at it. :)
     
  7. The Fishing Pollock

    The Fishing Pollock

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  8. djkimmel

    djkimmel

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    Only 4 states have statewide closed bass seasons yet - Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Maine.
     
  9. djkimmel

    djkimmel

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    80 to 92% of Michigan bass anglers voluntarily release all or most of their keeper-sized bass. The 92% is on Lake St. Clair. At that rate of voluntary release most other bass regulations will be ineffective.

    As far as mishandled bass, set a good example on the water. It catches on. We need more people buying fishing licenses and fishing. Especially kids. Celebrating good catches is valuable to fishing. It creates excitement and interest in fishing.

    What people are doing now is working and has been working for decades. We can probably still improve on that. Setting the good example is one way we can all help. I try to do that. Though I do get excited sometimes when I catch a big one.
     
  10. djkimmel

    djkimmel

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    You've figured me out!! :lol: I want to keep fishermen (and fisherwomen and fisherkids) busy. Fishing! I'm even catching some other kinds of fish myself. Even on purpose sometimes! :)
     
  11. djkimmel

    djkimmel

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    All I ever care about is getting and keeping people fishing. And hopefully getting to do some fishing myself! Got to have fish to do that so I try hard to support things that also keep some fish around for everyone to catch. We sure are spoiled in Michigan and the Great Lakes states! So much water. So little time... :)
     
  12. tightline24

    tightline24

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    That's what I thought, just wanted to clarify.


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  13. tenring

    tenring

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    I am all for expanding the catch and release season for bass. I'm still seriously annoyed that the DNR stopped the early catch and release season (which was April 1) on Kent Lake (Kensington), Cass Lake, Pontiac Lake, and three other lakes in Michigan; once they initiated the early catch and release season state-wide to the 4th Saturday in April. The April 1 regulations on those lakes were in place for roughly 15 years, and the bass fishing was fine.


    The closing of the early c&r season on those lakes was a big FU to bass fisherman by the DNR. I guess times are a changing with these new forthcoming regulations thanks to guys like DJKimmel and others enlightening the DNR to what virtually every other state has known for years. Thank you DJKimmel.
     
  14. waterfoul

    waterfoul

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    Thanks for all the hard work Dan. Hope I helped in some small way. :)

    Still amazed that some people can base what they think the law should be on what a VERY limited few do to violate the current laws. You cannot argue with science, and it's time the DNR started figuring this out.
     
  15. djkimmel

    djkimmel

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    I pretty much never support punishing the vast majority of good anglers because of the possibility of a few bad anglers. Keeping people fishing and getting more people is way more important the creating fishing restrictions against everyone because someone might break the law. There are some MDNR Conservation Officers who feel the same way - they say don't try to make my job easier - create laws based on science and let us figure out how to enforce them. I sure appreciate that kind of thinking.