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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2015

Contact: Nick Popoff, 517-284-6235 or Ed Golder, 517-284-5815
DNR to host public meetings in July regarding proposed changes
to fishing regulations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced a schedule of public meetings in July to discuss several fishing regulation changes proposed for 2016.

These meetings will take place in each of the eight management units that oversee Michigan’s fisheries. The public is invited to attend to learn about proposed regulations, ask questions and discuss local issues.

The major issues to be discussed at these meetings are in relation to a proposed list of catch-and-delayed-release lakes for bass-fishing tournaments, chumming regulations, and a steelhead bag limit reduction for four rivers.

Sixteen water bodies are being proposed for catch-and-delayed-release bass tournaments. Catch-and-delayed-release means temporarily holding bass in a live-well for tournament weigh-in purposes. The change to chumming regulations refers to allowing no more than 1 quart of chum in an angler’s possession. The proposal to reduce the steelhead bag limit pertains to the Muskegon, Pere Marquette, Little Manistee and Big Manistee rivers.

Meeting dates, times and locations include:

Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit
  • Wednesday, July 29, 7 to 8 p.m. (EST) at D&R Sports Center,
    8178 W. Main St. in Kalamazoo.
Central Lake Michigan Management Unit
  • Monday, July 27, 6 to 7:30 p.m. (EST) at John Graves Lodge,
    4684 Evergreen Drive (M-37) in Newaygo.
  • Tuesday, July 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m. (EST) at Onekama Consolidated
    Schools’ media center, 5016 Main St. in Onekama.
Northern Lake Michigan/Eastern Lake Superior/Western Lake Superior management units
  • Thursday, July 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (EST) at the DNR Pocket Park in the U.P.
    State Fairgrounds, 2401 12th Ave. North in Escanaba.
    • Please note, two additional proposed regulation changes will be discussed at this particular meeting (covering three management units). These include proposals to 1) modify the one-over-23-inches walleye slot limit boundary line for Little Bay de Noc, and 2) change the fishing regulations for lake sturgeon on the Menominee River between the Park Mill dam and the Grand Rapids dam.
Lake Erie Management Unit
  • Tuesday, July 21, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (EST) at the Waterford Fisheries Office,
    7806 Gale Road in Waterford.
Southern Lake Huron Management Unit
  • Monday, July 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (EST) at the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center,
    3582 State Park Drive in Bay City.
Northern Lake Huron Management Unit
  • Wednesday, July 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (EST) at the Tuscarora Township Hall,
    3546 S. Straits Highway in Indian River.
Meeting details also are available on the DNR website at michigan.gov/fishing.
 

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What would be the reason for lowering steelhead bag limits? My fiance and I caught over 200 steelhead this past winter season! Also, if I legally harvest a hen and begin river curing more than a quart of eggs I could be considered in violation. Again, what is the justification?
 

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What would be the reason for lowering steelhead bag limits? My fiance and I caught over 200 steelhead this past winter season! Also, if I legally harvest a hen and begin river curing more than a quart of eggs I could be considered in violation. Again, what is the justification?
As for chumming, there isn't any justification. Suppossedly there was a guy on the White (I think) that was using gallons of it, which I highly doubt. I think if you look into it on the net, you can figure out the root idea of this.
 

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Man I wish I could make the meeting but will still be gone for work. It just seems like the DNR is going in circles trying to figure something out with our fishery instead of looking at what other Great Lakes states have done that have worked wonders and adopt those strategies. Maybe try planting more steelhead for anglers to catch since alewive #'s are down and steelheads eat a wide array of baitfish/insects, etc. Kings will never return to the population they once were unless somehow magically the mussels disappear yea right! But no lets just reduce the limit, reduce chumming, etc. all in the favor of fly guides who cry when guys come by them with bait and chum and are whacking fish legally.
 

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The bag limits on these rivers is not for biological reasons for Lake Michigan. It is for social reasons. We continue to hear that we need to make catch rates better on these systems and lower bag limits were recommended. What does the general angler and public think of that? Same with chumming. Some groups and anglers feel that an excessive amount of chum is being used that can change fish behavior - good or bad. So the question is how much is too much? 5 gallons? A quart? What should the number be? Should be eliminated or no change?
 

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No changes necessary. The steelhead fishery is already phenomenal. Almost too easy! Posting here because I can't get off work for the meetings!
 

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No changes necessary. The steelhead fishery is already phenomenal. Almost too easy! Posting here because I can't get off work for the meetings!
I will try to ma ke the meeting in Onekama, however my view is no changes are necessary. My point being, who, or what is it harming? If it isn't harming the environment, or harming the fish themselves, why change anything?
 
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The bag limits on these rivers is not for biological reasons for Lake Michigan. It is for social reasons. We continue to hear that we need to make catch rates better on these systems and lower bag limits were recommended. What does the general angler and public think of that? Same with chumming. Some groups and anglers feel that an excessive amount of chum is being used that can change fish behavior - good or bad. So the question is how much is too much? 5 gallons? A quart? What should the number be? Should be eliminated or no change?
With this info it is safe to assume the changes won't fly if the public responds. The guys who are floating this will keep trying but there is little to no support for it. It's a symbolic effort on their part, a lot like the dozens of efforts to repeal the ACA. A waste of resources to go through the motions but they have the right to try.

Thanks for keeping us informed, Jay.
 

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How about just using science?
I'll bite. Using science how? Jay has already given us the Division's scientific conclusion that there is no biological necessity for this. What else would you like the science to do?
 

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They could tell the interested parties that there is no sound science behind their request so they (the DNR) won't even consider such a thing.
 

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They could tell the interested parties that there is no sound science behind their request so they (the DNR) won't even consider such a thing.
Look, I don't want to be a pain about this but what does that mean? Are you proposing that regs can be changed only if it can be shown that the current ones are detrimental? Several recent changes, lowering size limits or increasing creel limits, would not have been allowed under that criteria. People write about managing with "sound science" here all the time, as though science has a goal. It's just an empty phrase unless you have a vision behind it that you want to achieve. What's your goal? Maybe I should start a thread where each of us could state our goals.
 

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Sound science is a vision? A goal? You are correct in the fact sound science is an empty phrase as it is used to manipulate game management for special interest and personal ideology. Funny how the HSUS vision is shot down because it is not "sound science." Yet sound science is a vision. A defining of exactly what this mystical "sound science" is, is in order. Appears this "sound science" is an issue elsewhere:

"Science is becoming a battleground. Once respected as rational and objective, scientists are increasingly coming under attack by those who want to promote a particular ideology or protect their own special interests. Studies that conflict with partisan agendas or corporate profits are dismissed as “junk science.” More and more politicians demand “sound science” to be used in policy making. But what constitutes sound science? With no accepted definition among scientists, the term often merely means studies validating a particular commercial or ideological perspective."


This "sound science" is becoming a catch 22. We are shooting down lawsuits because we claim to manage by "sound science" but sound science is undefined. Kazoo says it is a vision. Well HSUS
had a vision, but the court said sound science is how we manage. Obviously we use it in the biological sense when it suits our purpose, and the philosophical sense when it suits our purpose. It is politics, and politics is how we are managing our game today. The boss says more flies only water, we get more flies only water. How can that happen you say? Because we manipulate "sound science" to the flavor of the day. When the biological isn't there, the claim it is a social vision will be used to manipulate the system. When the social vision isn't there, or it's not the social vision that fits whomever is running the shows ideology, the claim will be, we manage by biological science. However, science you can demand to be shown, then when there is none, it quickly reverts back to it's social. Maybe we should hire this guy.

 

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You have completely misunderstood what I was saying. "It's just an empty phrase unless you have a vision behind it that you want to achieve."

Note the difference between having a vision (a goal, an end, whatever you want to call it) that you want to achieve using science and believing that science is a vision. Science provides us with information, it's up to us to decide how to apply the information. That's what I mean by having a goal or vision; something you are going to apply your knowledge to and see if and how it can be done. That was my question for Axiom and anyone else who cares to answer it. What are the goals you would like to achieve with the knowledge we have and the knowledge we may gain in the future? The DNR's uses science every day to achieve its goals and it keeps those goals as vague as possible so it can evolve to meet changes in ecosystems and still serve the people of the State of Michigan.

"The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. The DNR strives to:
  • Protect natural and cultural resources.
  • Ensure sustainable recreation use and enjoyment.
  • Enable strong natural resource-based economies.
  • Improve and build strong relationships and partnerships.
  • Foster effective business practices and good governance."

Sometimes we don't have enough information to know if a particular goal is workable but we do have enough to know that attempting it isn't harmful. So we attempt it and learn. If we never try anything new we never learn. Usually an experiment is conceived with a hypothesis in mind so it can appear to some that the answer was a forgone conclusion. That is almost never the case though and the ones complaining about it are usually the ones who didn't get the answer they wanted. When it comes to fish and wildlife research the answer is almost always less than concrete, leaving the interpretation of the study pretty wide open. It is a shame that we almost always have to have a hypothesis for experiments these days, and do so little pure research, but that's what it takes to get funding. You may have noticed that the DNR seems to be reactive with research instead of proactive. This is because they have to justify expending the funds. It's very hard to justify spending on subjects that the public doesn't care about or is unaware of. Some possible but distant threat is often met with very strong opposition by people who would much rather see the money spent on their pet projects. Sometimes the result of the experiment may overturn the status quo so it goes unfunded. I don't doubt that there is a biologist who would like to study the dynamics of a falling population of Blugblatter Beasts and it's effect on Hornswoggles; the public doesn't care though so it won't get funded. This is the reality of running the DNR like a business.
 

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I'll bite. Using science how? Jay has already given us the Division's scientific conclusion that there is no biological necessity for this. What else would you like the science to do?
No, what I meant was that science should dictate the regs, not a minority groups beliefs.
 

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No, what I meant was that science should dictate the regs, not a minority groups beliefs.
Thanks for the response, I think I get where your coming from but correct me if I'm wrong. You believe that if a proposed change does not show a biological benefit it should not be enacted.

That makes me ask a follow up question. What do you think of the many, many regs we have now that are benefit neutral as compared to previous regs? I'm including things like methods of take, minimum size limits, creel limits and seasons. A lot of those regulations are based on tradition or changes in attitudes, not on any current biological necessity.
 

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Is it possible the State just wants to save money in the long run(and I mean save as in, piss it away somewhere else), the less harvested, the less planting necessary? If less were taken, the more chance that more fish could successfully spawn. Maybe anticipate a stocking reduction? Plus making the minority groups happy at the same time.

I personally think 5 is too many, but I also get that people don't make it out as often as I do, and if you have a good day and want to bring home 5 and keep 4 in the freezer for awhile, then who am I to say thats wrong of them?

This is why I hate the government, BS like this.

I personally think Steelhead/Salmon should be planted by Clubs that work in coalition. Planted fish should be considered private property owned by the Club that planted it. If you take any Club owned fish, you're stealing which is a punishable offense. When you join the Club for a fee, you have rights to those fish.

But what do I know? Im just a caveman.

 

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Thanks for the response, I think I get where your coming from but correct me if I'm wrong. You believe that if a proposed change does not show a biological benefit it should not be enacted.

That makes me ask a follow up question. What do you think of the many, many regs we have now that are benefit neutral as compared to previous regs? I'm including things like methods of take, minimum size limits, creel limits and seasons. A lot of those regulations are based on tradition or changes in attitudes, not on any current biological necessity.
No, I understand your point, things just are not that simple. I know many regs are not based on scientific reason, For example the issue of snagging.

It just bothers me with a lot of the squabbling going on now days .
 

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Is it possible the State just wants to save money in the long run(and I mean save as in, piss it away somewhere else), the less harvested, the less planting necessary? If less were taken, the more chance that more fish could successfully spawn. Maybe anticipate a stocking reduction? Plus making the minority groups happy at the same time.

I personally think 5 is too many, but I also get that people don't make it out as often as I do, and if you have a good day and want to bring home 5 and keep 4 in the freezer for awhile, then who am I to say thats wrong of them?

This is why I hate the government, BS like this.

I personally think Steelhead/Salmon should be planted by Clubs that work in coalition. Planted fish should be considered private property owned by the Club that planted it. If you take any Club owned fish, you're stealing which is a punishable offense. When you join the Club for a fee, you have rights to those fish.

But what do I know? Im just a caveman.

How much would the club have to pay the state to use its water and baitfish?
 
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