Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Special DNR meeting - UPDATED

Fellow Anglers,

This is a quick follow up to my previous post as I had Scotts email address wrong by one letter. I want to make sure your voice is heard so if you sent him an email please forward it again to the correct address which is heintzelmans@michigan.gov

I had missed adding the "s" on his last name in my previous post... I apologize.

Here is a modified and more informative version of my last post stating the issue at hand with the corrected email address.
I attended a special meeting held by Michigan DNR Monday night to discuss some issues on the table. I believe we can influence the decisions being made by DNR if we put some effort into this. The last place in the world I wanted to be last night was the DNR meeting, I left very upset to say the least. I do feel we need to let our voices be heard though. I thought Scott Heintzelman (Unit Manager for Central Lake Michigan DNR) did a pretty good job allowing everyone’s voice to be heard. As an angler/guide that voiced my opinion that chumming should be banned completely and that the creel limit for steelhead should be 1 per day I was outnumbered. Scott would like to get a better idea of what the public feels about the 3 issues by email if you can take the time to send him an email I really think you should. His email is heintzelmans@michigan.gov

He mentioned that the latest Muskegon River studies by DNR on such issues are more than 10 years old and they’re still basing rules off that. You and I know it is a completely different fishery than it was 10 years ago. Chumming and other angling techniques have changed things. Many of the anglers and guides that once used "match the hatch" skills for catching steelhead have taken the easy approach and are now chumming with salmon or steelhead eggs and then fishing trout beads through the chum line (creating their own 'hatch'). It is extremely effective as it changes the fishes behavior by creating an artificial feeding frenzy. In my opinion (which is shared by most swung fly anglers that I've talked with), the fish react by only being keyed in on egg patterns after being chummed, just as trout would during a blanket hatch of insects. This benefits the chummer greatly but hurts most other anglers chances at our beloved gamefish.

The three issues he wants feedback on are.

1. Should they allow a delayed release on bass for tournament fishing... meaning all the bass caught end up released at the weigh in spot instead of released immediately where they were caught. This can impact spawning for sure, not to mention relocating bass instead of having them spread out more naturally.

2. Should the steelhead creel limit be changed from 3 per angler to 2 or 1 per angler.

3. Should chumming be a free for all or limited to 1 qt per angler per day. A ban on chumming was not one of the multiple choice answers but he said it’s not off the table if enough opinion is voiced.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to let your voice be heard... please feel free to share as well.