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Basically changing limits of rainbows on Big Man, Bear, PM, Carp, and Little Man during spawning season. Hoping Mr Tonello could way in. I don’t care as long as it’s not a group or two with money behind the change such as guides both Lake and river.
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Personally don't like it. That said I don't remember the last steelhead I kept. However there are lots that do amd how many miles of no kill is there already on some of these rivers? How many miles of fly only? Pretty soon it will be watch fish swim in water only.
 

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My group catches hundreds of steelhead per year, and there's no denying that something is going on. At least on the water we fish. With the exception of one river, total numbers have been going down, while the percentage of hatchery fish is going up. Lots more pressure on the rivers we fish most with the new guys roping everything they catch. The runs in these rivers are also mostly wild. More people are catching fish now. Let's face it, steelhead are as easy to catch as a farm pond bluegill, most of the time, and most fisherman have finally figured it out. It used to be a small percentage of the anglers were catching most of the fish. Now, everybody is catching some fish with more people limiting out. We used to have many big number days and not see anyone with a limit of fish and most other anglers not even catching. I believe that some kind of reduction in fish removed would be a good thing, at least where I fish. Maybe just make it kill for clipped fish?

Seems like most people who steelhead fish fail to realize that, unlike salmon, our steelhead runs are made up of multiple year classes of fish. So, if each year a good portion of the run is removed, the numbers in each following run are going to go down exponentially. I also think we need to put some work into some of our not so big name tribs that are producing wild fish. I know of miles of stream that used to produce lots of fish that are so degraded that they are now chub water. Steelhead have been here for damn near 150 years, I say it's time start managing them as the natural resource they are and I hope this would be a move in the right direction.
 

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Personally don't like it. That said I don't remember the last steelhead I kept. However there are lots that do amd how many miles of no kill is there already on some of these rivers? How many miles of fly only? Pretty soon it will be watch fish swim in water only.
I keep few steelhead about it but want to keep them when I want to so I can see not being happy at same time. Should help overall numbers in long run. Rivers like that big man and pm where guides pound the sh out of it, even bear gets hit hard definitely not bad to see. Also several guides doing catch and release but many more fill clients coolers. Honestly clients pay for it and I really don’t have a problem with it but it puts a hurting on numbers if guides are on the water almost everyday. I’ve heard a lot of talk about this the last few years and good amount of people not happy and just as many or even more are happy to see.
 

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I support reduced limits of Steelhead during spawning season. I do not support gear restrictions for specific waters. I would support closing rivers that support good natural reproduction of Steelhead entirely for the spawn.
Why close the entire system? Possibly some stretches? Most of the reproduction happens in the trout water during the regular closure on most streams, anyway. What's the point in saving them if you cannot fish for them? For the boats? A fish removed is not going to reproduce or return again no matter when or where it is removed. I would support reduced limits period, including the lake. Maybe clippers only on certain streams?
 

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Want to make a huge impact, Commissioner Nyberg should suggest 1 steelhead limit on the big lake too. Yeah, that's what I thought.

When I look at the whole issue of numbers in the system, river regulations without big lake regulations, is about catch numbers for the river guides. Looking at the guides launching on the PM, maybe it's time a commissioner suggested limits on the number of guides. 2 to 4 per system, depending on system would work. The average Joe may even find a spot to fish on the PM.
 

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When I look at the whole issue of numbers in the system, river regulations without big lake regulations, is about catch numbers for the river guides. Looking at the guides launching on the PM, maybe it's time a commissioner suggested limits on the number of guides. 2 to 4 per system, depending on system would work. The average Joe may even find a spot to fish on the PM.
The number of guides on the lower PM has gotten ridiculous, it's basically a free for all.
 

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Everyone has valid arguments. Its certainly a tough situation, and whatever the final outcome will never please everyone. I will support whatever decision is made as long as it benefits the fishery and anglers, and not some special interest group.
I am opposed to the idea of restricting the number of guides per system, simply because it sets a dangerous precedent for the government controlling the free market...more so than they already do. I think a good solution to this problem could be achieved through enhanced licensing requirements for guides. How about licensing based on a quota. Example:
Tier 1: The "unlimited guide license". Full catch and keep within current allowable limits. This would be the most expensive license and have strict reporting requirements. The number of these licenses would vary from year to year based on the health and population of the fishery,
Tier 2: The "limited guide license", Catch and keep is still allowed, but only a limited stringer; maybe two per customer. There would also be a limited number of these licenses available, but more than available in Tier 1. It would cost more then the lower tier, and also have some reporting requirements.
Tier 3: The "catch and release guide license". This type of license wouldn't be capped like Tier 1 and Tier 2, and it would be the least expensive license.
All money raised through the enhanced licensing process could be used to improve stocking, habitat restoration, and shoreline clean ups. Just an idea.
 

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Personally don't like it. That said I don't remember the last steelhead I kept. However there are lots that do amd how many miles of no kill is there already on some of these rivers? How many miles of fly only? Pretty soon it will be watch fish swim in water only.
The data on steelhead population segment declines indicate that this, despite your contentions of ample protections, is principally occurring during their stream bound life-cycle interval. The stream courses mentioned appear to be contributing significantly to the total stock, both as stocked fish elsewhere in Lake Michigan tributaries
in both wisconsins and Michigan, as well as the open water population segment.
 

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The data on steelhead population segment declines indicate that this, despite your contentions of ample protections, is principally occurring during their stream bound life-cycle interval. The stream courses mentioned appear to be contributing significantly to the total stock, both as stocked fish elsewhere in Lake Michigan tributaries
in both wisconsins and Michigan, as well as the open water population segment.
One big problem is the pike population in drowned river mouths. Those things are smolt eating machines!


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That wpuld make it kinda like deer , small game, trapping and waterfowl--a season-wow-great idea.

Copied from above-
""One big problem is the pike population in drowned river mouths. Those things are smolt eating machines!""

Kinda like where walleyes are planted. They are eating machines. Used to have some nce perch but when the walleyes are dropped off-no perch for a while. Sure, walleyes are fun to catch and crowds show up to 'harvest em' and when there are gone-oh well.

Same thing happened about 40 yrs ago w/ the famous tiger muskie...
 

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Having fished in the Wisconsin side lake a couple times, it's crazy how many non clipped fish are caught and kept during the summer.

I realize that the MI dnr can't regulate that fishery but it's depressing to see so many wild fish kept.
 

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One big problem is the pike population in drowned river mouths. Those things are smolt eating machines!


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Steelhead smolts average around 8", compared to3" for a chinook and around 5" for a coho.Pike are poikilotherms. How active do you think pike are in the preferred temp. band that steelheadsmolts would be actively moving out into the open lake? Now, let's take a good look at how pike feed. They are ambush predators, remaining in a fixed position prior launching at prey that get close enough. So let's estimate how many steelhead, at 8"TL a pike in fifty degree water could and would eat....
 

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You all know I love to steelhead fish as much as the next guy, having said that I don't have a problem with the proposed new reg, under certain circumstances.

1) These regulation changes need to fisheries biologically sound. In other words, if this decision is made, I want it based on fisheries science, not social science.

2) Adding to #1, my feelings this isn't based as much on fisheries science, as much as it is on social science, and to further that, the guides are pushing as much, or more than anyone. I go along with Ray on this, it's time to limit the amount of guides on these waters. I know the Big Man has more than it's share of guides, and some of them feel they own the river. I don't invest in my fisheries so a guy can start a guide service and make a living based on my investment.

3) I also agree, if you don't change the big lake scenario, there is not much point in changing the river rules.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. I don't know this Nygard at all, but I certainly hope he isn't ANOTHER one of the NRC commissioners who does what the deepest pockets tell him to do. It's time we get emotion based fishing rules and regulations out of the equation. We ALL want a better fishery, for whatever species, but sometimes the science just doesn't fit, and that's where the DNR, NRC, or whoever needs to put their big boy pants on say no, and here's why.......
 
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