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Creel starts April 1st and has since 1989. Most ports caught 2,000 to 4,000 browns a year while the clerk was working through the 1990s. It started to fall to just a few hundred around 2010 and some ports went below 100.

The thought that conditions were too poor in south and that we should move them north and increase the stocking of those northern ports. This is our last for the experiment before we re-evaluate.

We could consider having a port in south one near Manistee and one in UP and cut the rest.

I will follow up with creel and stocking numbers.


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So instead of figuring out how to make them work, you're going to cut them? I'd take 10,000 of these and I'd bet you the cost of raising them that I could get an acceptable return. It's obvious people want browns and I think they could work. I know there's dynamics here and you have more to worry about than just making them stick somewhere. I just hate to see browns written off forever after years of doing the same thing and claiming they can't work.
 

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It is pointless more or less they already have there mind made up. Lake trout. Walleye. And there number 1 fav money pig sturgeon are what matters to Jim and Jay and always have been. They have never answered the hard questions and when they have they went back against there word. He says browns were cut do to poor returns but when every person fishing every port has other to say they just quit asking. Browns were cut because they quit putting in sea forelen do to an inbred brood stock. So rather than get new broods they went to multiple different strains. The same strains as they have put in creeks for years. Makes sense right??? 馃 nope.
 

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I have about 6500 hours on the lakes, year round, from lots of ports.

I've been checked by a creel census person once, ironically at Port Sheldon on a day it was blowing 30 mph and we were the only boat out. Guy admitted he waited hours for us to come back in half out if curiosity that we were not sunk, as this wasn't too long after two guys went out of PS and turned up missing.
 

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If only one port south gets fish, can I vote for Saugatuck?

1. Ports farther south have coho in close early. North of South Haven, not so much until later in the year.
2. Centrally located as we know browns stray more than previously thought (why am I catching some one year in the lake fish 80 miles from the nearest plant location?)
3. Structure, at least as much as we have in the area.
4. A river with lots of public access that is heavily fished and supported lake run browns in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
So instead of figuring out how to make them work, you're going to cut them? I'd take 10,000 of these and I'd bet you the cost of raising them that I could get an acceptable return. It's obvious people want browns and I think they could work. I know there's dynamics here and you have more to worry about than just making them stick somewhere. I just hate to see browns written off forever after years of doing the same thing and claiming they can't work.
Not true. I am on here asking questions too. We just made a change by moving and consolidating fish. So far not so good except this spring showed some promise. We have stocked like 6 different strains in response to falling brown trout catches.

We are fighting water clarity and lower productivity and warming nearshore temperatures.

Browns like stained water with bait. They are doing better in stained water areas, with gobies and alewife, and availability to cooler water.

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Then listen to the answer's given lol. Think about what you just said also Jay. They like dirty water. So you move th away from the dirtier water in lake Michigan 馃 ok??? And warming or not they do better than all other species in the lake with warm water. So again. Nope
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
It is pointless more or less they already have there mind made up. Lake trout. Walleye. And there number 1 fav money pig sturgeon are what matters to Jim and Jay and always have been. They have never answered the hard questions and when they have they went back against there word. He says browns were cut do to poor returns but when every person fishing every port has other to say they just quit asking. Browns were cut because they quit putting in sea forelen do to an inbred brood stock. So rather than get new broods they went to multiple different strains. The same strains as they have put in creeks for years. Makes sense right??? nope.
What do you know about Sturgeon River strain? It is a naturally reproducing stain that migrates out to lakes. That is what we are stocking now along with wild rose.

Yep. We are fighting to maintain alewife to make this a lake trout and walleye fishery. If that is what we wanted we should go back to stocking 5 million chinook in the lake and you would have lake trout and walleye immediately.


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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Then listen to the answer's given lol. Think about what you just said also Jay. They like dirty water. So you move th away from the dirtier water in lake Michigan ok??? And warming or not they do better than all other species in the lake with warm water. So again. Nope
Then show me your catch reports. When was brown fishing it鈥檚 best in St Joe? I would like to compare that to strain, water productivity, bait, creel times etc.

Give me a port in the south to stock and tell me why you think it will be better than last 10 years?

If we do what you suggest, how would you evaluate it? How long would you test it?

I am showing you the data that we have available and the assumptions that we have made. Prove us wrong. I would love to have a brown trout fishery. I fish in a small boat, so would love to be catching some while coho fishing or go and target them.

We are just trying to be efficient with our stocking.


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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
If only one port south gets fish, can I vote for Saugatuck?

1. Ports farther south have coho in close early. North of South Haven, not so much until later in the year.
2. Centrally located as we know browns stray more than previously thought (why am I catching some one year in the lake fish 80 miles from the nearest plant location?)
3. Structure, at least as much as we have in the area.
4. A river with lots of public access that is heavily fished and supported lake run browns in the past.
Thank you. This is the type of feedback that is useful. Do you keep a personal fishing log? If so, would you share it with me? Much appreciated.


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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Then listen to the answer's given lol. Think about what you just said also Jay. They like dirty water. So you move th away from the dirtier water in lake Michigan ok??? And warming or not they do better than all other species in the lake with warm water. So again. Nope
I get that southern rivers have stained water. What happens July through September when the water is warm top to bottom out past 70 ft and the rivers are approaching 80 degrees.

Does temperature matter? I would think so.

Did we move them to cooler areas? Yes. Traditionally these area also had good browns. We doubled the stocking. Let鈥檚 see how that pans out. Try and change and reevaluate.

Are they moving a lot farther than we thought. Yes. Tagged browns from Wisconsin are showing up in Michigan. Maybe these browns are starting to move where conditions are good. If so, perhaps the stocking port is less important than stocking region.

Mass marking these fish would answer a lot of questions. We have been pushing the feds to fully fund the marking program to mark all stocked fish. Anything that you can do to support marking of all fish would be appreciated.


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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
What I mean about them moving is that they may roam more looking for bait and then move to new areas based on temperature and bait. If that is the case, brown success in an area may become more sporadic and less predictable. Regional evaluations may be more important than port by port.


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Then show me your catch reports. When was brown fishing it鈥檚 best in St Joe? I would like to compare that to strain, water productivity, bait, creel times etc.

Give me a port in the south to stock and tell me why you think it will be better than last 10 years?

If we do what you suggest, how would you evaluate it? How long would you test it?

I am showing you the data that we have available and the assumptions that we have made. Prove us wrong. I would love to have a brown trout fishery. I fish in a small boat, so would love to be catching some while coho fishing or go and target them.

We are just trying to be efficient with our stocking.


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I have shared that stuff with you. Multiple other people I know as well as other charter captains I worked for back in the time frame we're talking about also shared with you. Multiple people I know reported all of their stuff just like off just like FBD through salmon ambassadors and were told that they were not supposed to give other data on other fish because it was not needed. Many of us were at the meetings asking to not have the Brown trout go away telling you exactly what we were seeing on the water and we were not listened to then why should we trust you now after all the years of lies
 

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What do you know about Sturgeon River strain? It is a naturally reproducing stain that migrates out to lakes. That is what we are stocking now along with wild rose.

Yep. We are fighting to maintain alewife to make this a lake trout and walleye fishery. If that is what we wanted we should go back to stocking 5 million chinook in the lake and you would have lake trout and walleye immediately.


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I never have once said anything about not being for the cuts that were made to chinook but don't joke with anybody and act like we would be in the same position we are right now if there wasn't over 3 million lake trout being dumped in and eating all of the ale wives every year. Also don't act like you didn't Do things to Increase these numbers of lake trout after telling everybody that you said that you were doing everything you could. I don't know a lot about sturgeon river Browns because I don't get any of them actually nobody in the parts of Southern lake Michigan that used to get Browns get any Browns anymore so I haven't made myself very readily available to knowing about them.
 

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Inshore Wednesday night was absolutely loaded with dead and dying bugs. Any trout recently planted should have been having a feast. Not sure if kings know how to look up though...
 

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@Jay Wesley - You do need to manage with data which is what you are doing. Thank you for sharing it even though it could be what some of us do not want to hear. I do agree with the assessment that sportsmen like to keep their results a secret and this does not help. I hope all sportsmen reconsider this and be a part of the solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I have shared that stuff with you. Multiple other people I know as well as other charter captains I worked for back in the time frame we're talking about also shared with you. Multiple people I know reported all of their stuff just like off just like FBD through salmon ambassadors and were told that they were not supposed to give other data on other fish because it was not needed. Many of us were at the meetings asking to not have the Brown trout go away telling you exactly what we were seeing on the water and we were not listened to then why should we trust you now after all the years of lies
Ok. Maybe you did, but I don鈥檛 know who you are. I did not get many reports when we were evaluating the cut in 2017. What is your name? I would like to see if I received that info. You can text or call 616-490-5090. [email protected]. Thanks.


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Jay, I鈥檓 networked enough, plus arrogant enough, to say that rumors have been that brown trout fishing this year; and this year only upticked for the first time in in the post inshore alewife collapse. The uptick did not occurr south of Muskegon.

The description 鈥渘ot like the old days, but some鈥, was the most frequent description. 鈥淪ome decent fish too; but no big fish.鈥 Was also used. As of a week or two ago or so the numbers were falling, but hopefully the bait push occurring up and down lately might pick it up again.

I鈥檓 always looking to increase the number of anglers. I never worrry about crowds of anglers. I fished when we really had crowds on the piers. I鈥檓 far more concerned about losing access to competing and non- compatable users of the inshore areas than i ever would be other anglers. Those contribute nothing to the fishery.
 

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Jay, has any thought at all been given to identifying a river (s), to build a Brown Trout wier; rather than a brood stock? Seems like could be one or two of the back up king streams, or even a novel river like the Dowagiac, White, or Lincoln could be a possible target?
 
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