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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you fish Platte Bay for any species of fish, please take a second to read through this proposal and submit comments to the National Park Service on this issue. The Park Service has made it clear that they are looking for any factual and constructive input from the public- so please make sure to take the time to read the document and base your opinion in facts.

https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?parkId=165&projectID=60589

Follow the link above, click "Open for Comment" on the left side of the page. The link to the proposal in located there, and once you open the proposal a button that says "Comment Now" becomes available.

Option 1 is the status quo- MDNR would continue to work with the National Park Service to provide dredging at the mouth of the Platte River as it has been done in the past, with the exception that we would look for a new method of disposing of the dredge spoils rather than piling them on the beach and disrupting the landscape even further.

The National Park Service is recommending Option 2 - which includes total restoration of Platte Point River Mouth Access and removal of any dredge spoils that currently reside there. No further dredging will take place and the mouth/river will be left to nature. The boat launch would be left to use "as is".

Option 3 - would included the restoration mentioned in Option 2, but also a large project to widen Tiesma Road to two-directional traffic, seasonally install (fall only) a Geo-Web launch into Lake Michigan, and add parking and restroom facilities. This launch is a similar style to those installed at Empire and Glen Arbor, and there would be no dock.

DNR Fisheries Division feels very strongly about maintaining angler access for the fisheries of Platte Bay, and we hope you do as well. The chance for a small boat angler to go out and target lake trout, walleye, coho salmon, Chinook salmon, brown trout, cisco, whitefish, and steelhead in this location is one of the most unique and beautiful fishing opportunities we have in this state- and we need to work together to ensure that this opportunity remains available to the anglers of this state for years to come.
 

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I tried to make it last nite, but blew my back out. So, it sounds like NPS would really rather not have anyone fish Platte Bay. If I had any say in the matter, I would select option 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bummer about your back Toto, hopefully you recover quickly!

The only potential downfalls to Option 3 fall in the design and implementation of a new site. Now, there are only preliminary designs and no solid plan in place, but I can attest to the fact that those Geo-Web launches are not the easiest to use and maintain. My other concern is that they only want to install the Geo-Web in September and October- which does not do anything to help anglers who target walleye, steelhead, lake trout, or browns in the Spring or bass, lake trout, cisco, and salmon all Summer.

Fisheries Division spends $825,400 on stocking fish in this area every single year; and while most of those fish contribute to the lake-wide fishery, things like the steelhead and brown trout are specifically stocked to create a fishery in Platte Bay/Platte River. Having boat access to the bay only two months out of the year does not jive with our efforts to boost the Platte Bay fisheries.
 

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Well, somehow there needs to be a way to get around the NPS. For example, couldn't a launch be installed at the end of Esch Rd? It would seem a road end may be the way to go. If you think about it, IF it's a platted road, then it doesn't fall within the guidelines of the NPS. In this instance it would seem to me that since the county owns the road down to the waters edge, and then the state of Michigan owns the water, bingo problem solved. I really believe that an opinion from someone say Jim Oleson in Traverse would be in order. He's the authority on this subject of the public trust. If need be, I'll check with him, or another attorney who's up on the subject if you wish, but it might be wiser for someone from the state to ask them their question. One thing for sure, the NPS has no control over the water itself, the land under the water, yep, as long as it's the river, and NOT the lake. That may well be the answer, the state of Michigan owns the bottom lands of the Great Lakes, at least as I understand it. That would be necessarily so in the river though.
 

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Option 1. The mouth has been a mess the last couple years. Migratory fish used to stage from the ramp all the way to the mouth. Not so much the last few years. The spring brown guys are hurting with the way the mouth runs along the shore now. I wouldn't put my 16 footer in there anymore and without dredging, you will have to walk your boat up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I certainly don't disagree Toto- the only issue is that some of the county roads that are within the park boundaries do not go to the waters edge or the ordinary high water mark- I would have to double check but I think that Esch is one of them. The Park was awarded protection under the Wilderness Act in 2014 to some 32,000 acres within the Lakeshore, which affects access and how that land may be used by visitors, so that complicates looking at additional options. The other issue comes down to amenities- if we only have the county road ending/easement to work with, that would limit how wide a launch could be, there would probably not be enough width for a dock, and then where do you park cars/trailers?

Its a lot- and the devil is in the details. The right thing to do really is for the NPS to work cooperatively with the County and the State to provide safe and reasonable access to Platte Bay for small boats. I am going to have a conversation with our Chief about what our next steps are, and we have a number of local and state angler groups that are speaking with senators and representatives right now...and we need to encourage everyone we can to provide comments to the NPS at the link above!
 

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Heather thanks for posting this and especially for summarizing the options! I've been going to the Platte river mouth for many years and it would be nice to have a decent launch. The current launch isn't very good access I have watched people for years struggle with the current and then the sandbar at the mouth. If you get past all that you enter into the bay with waves from the big lake, lots of people do it but not for me! Access in the interior of the bay would be much better...
Let the river mouth go natural... but I would like to see access for more than the fall months. I will post comments favoring Option 3 but with additional months for the launch. Thanks, Mark.
 
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