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Discuss issues concerning the Michigan Fishery.
by Ursus » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:57 pm
Report: If you have a stream you would like to see gear restrictions on - here is your chance: http://www.michiganoutofdoors.com/news- ... ed_stream_
You have until February 12th to make your nominations - I am nominating two streams.
by Steelie Jay » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:01 pm
:: Gear restrictions are a load of crap. Making a rule saying you can only fish this way or the other is nothing more than a few guides getting together and trying to make stretches of river there own or at least less crowded for there benefit. As far as changing size limits and no kill zones I'm all for it but to tell fishermen that you can only fish this way is a big load of BS. So I encourage you to go to this link and express that there should not be any more GEAR restrictions and that you feel that the already in place FLY'S ONLY stretches should be opened back up to all methods of fishing except the single hook 3/8 point to shank rules should stay the same. If enough people get on board of this side of it, it could very well back fire in these guides faces and have there own little playgrounds taken from them. Sure theirs many miles left that can be used for restrictions but no where does it say they have to be.
by JustinP » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:46 pm
For smaller rivers it makes alot of sense. The smaller rivers are easily fished out by the bait guys. I'm not against bait fishing but it is extremely effective and on smaller rivers alot of fish are hauled out. It has nothing to do with what method is right or wrong, it has to do with perserving a fishery. Even if the fish are released fish caught on live bait have a much higher rate of mortality than those caught on lures or flies. I can think of one southwest MI unmentionable that would definately benefit from this program
by Downtown » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:52 pm
Wow!! Now there are two sides of the coin. Here's another alternative. Delete the restriction on the legal fishing method and make all of these waters barbless and catch and release.
by Downriver Steel » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:50 pm
I think that a lot of our smaller tribs would be better subjected to a "no treble hook" rule from Aug 15 to May 15. Snagging is a problem that can be addressed through such a restriction (similar to what the Platte River has now). Note the reason that this does not work across the board is that a lot of the bigger rivers are fished with spoons, spinners, and cranks so they probably cannot be subjected to such a restriction. The smaller ones though probably can. No bait is probably pushing it.
by fishnaked2206 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:10 am
The restrictions the Platte has in place are very effective. During the course of my uncle's and my annual trip to that area we are yet to run across any obvious snaggers. They all seem to be on the Betsie. Everyday we walk by multiple individuals with broom poles and winches running 30 pound carp line and giant trebles. Personally I'd like to see a river as small as the Betsie turned to a fly only river in hopes of weeding out the snaggers or at the very least a no treble restriction. In a stream as small as the Betsie is there truly isn't any room/reason for any kind of lure with treble hooks. The amount of snagging I saw this year was absolutely disgusting but there was nothing we could do about it. As stated before I think the only way to reduce the issue is to adopt a system similar to the Platte. It seems to be extremely effective.
by phish4steel » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:52 am
None of these ideas are bad and the more options the better.
Unfortunatly there is a common tie to many snagger methods and like anyone that wishes to be concealed, snaggers work VERY well under the cover of darkness.
On one trip to the PM in the Fly/no kill section there were 3 guys that came in just at last light that had a very obvious southern accent. I am not prejudging in any way because of that, just stating an observation I made that was passed along to help identify them later.
They got out shark rods and stood on the bank over the beds and began to hook any fish in front of them in any way possible. They swung the rods like a derrick over the bank and a guy would un hook the fish and he was back to "Fishing" in no time at all. It was a very efficient meat vs. minute equation
It was enough to make you sick to watch. There was a vehicle in the lot from West Virginia and was thier vehicle as it turned out.
My point is that while restrictions can be placed on gear, the people that are going to fish illegally don't follow the law in pursuing the fish and could care less. They'll come back year after year, snag and pay the fine. One guy during our river watch on the Man got 2 tickets 2 days apart for snagging. One CO told me that they expect to get ticketed and just include it in the vacation fund. I believe it was about 5-6 years ago that the CO's got a judge to start handing out time in the clink in addition to fines..........and it goes on every year no matter what the fines and gear restrictions might be.
I have not looked up the penalties for Alaska or Canada but do know that you better not pull that crap in either place.
Ungodly fines and even some time behind bars might, just maybe get some circulation above the neck for those that violate Michigan's game laws. Enough fines could possibly provide more revenue and potentially pay for more officers.
by Ursus » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:34 am
I agree that gear restrictions are not the best way to go about conservation - you get no arguement from me on that. I also have no intention of nominating a river that gets salmon or steelhead - for many of the reasons stated above. The rivers/sections of rivers I intend to nominate have natural reproduction of trout and yet get decimated by bait anglers. Both river have the potential to hold very large wild fish - and yet they are a shadow of what they could be because of over harvesting. I would love to see them become all gear/catch and release only areas, but that is not the option we have here. Now, please understand I am not saying all bait anglers are bad guys and other anglers are not - it is just with bait you can clean out an area in no time because simply put, it is a more effective means of catching fish.
by FishWhisperer » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:16 am
Seems like the guys that are most unhappy with the fisheries as they are the same guys that have a few freezer burnt fish in the cooler...
If you think that catch and release doesn't work, just float through the PM Fly Water, a piece of water that doesn't get planted with anything and you tell me if you see any natural reproduction going on!!
I think it is terrible when fellows justify their means to a steelhead's end... namely the killing of steelhead for as much their spawn as their possible table fair. Yarn works, NO kidding!
Do you really need to throw guts to catch fish???? NO
Do you really need 9 hooks on a plug to land a steelhead?? NO
In as far as the Fly Water being Flies Only..... think again... there are plenty of fellows that take it upon themselves to fish the guts in there, and though I have seen a few get busted, most are sneaky enough to get away with it!! How fun is that,,, looking over your shoulder all the time while your fishing illegally,, thats how I want to spend my relaxing day on the water....NOT
Biggest reason I don't like posting here anymore is because of all the negativity a Fly Guy or any guy for that matter gets for having any Pro Steelhead population ideas; they are shut down, and more or less stomped on by the first bait guy that thinks he has the right to kill every fish he can pull from a body of water!!
I pay for those fish as much as your tax dollars do and have a right to an opinion too. If you want to kill every steelhead you catch, Ohio would be a great place to live; he in Michigan we have the best steelhead natural reproduction east of the rockies and I would like to see that thrive instead of crumble....
If you want to be mad about something, be mad at our current political engine and their inability to stop something as simple as a carp from moving into one of the best cold water fisheries in the world when they could see it coming years away!! One day soon it won't be about who is using plugs, spinners, guts, flies, or even corn for that matter because there won't be enough steelhead to even target....
I suppose then it will be The Carp Site and we can argue one whether or not we shoot them with guns, crossbows, or bow & arrow... Then the ultimate taboo won't be throwing chum in the water, it will be sticks of TNT!! Not me,,, I will go West before I live to see that one unfold!!
Pretty trivial stuff when you consider the big picture fellows. Gear and bait fisherman should know that when Flies Only and other gear restrictions are put in place, they are normally done in the rivers headwaters or spawning areas so to protect future generations of fish from getting taking out undersized or immature or while spawning by either unknowing or just flat dishonest guys that would just assume kill it and throw it out months later from freezer burning than take its picture and let it swim away!!
We should all start working together and helping the fishery thrive and not tumble, and if you look at the problems from outside the box you would see that no matter your fishing preference we had better start working together or you can kiss these fisheries good bye... That might include a few extra miles of no kill water and a couple gear restrictions to get done... Just grin and bare it for those that don't like it because you will eventually see the fruits of the restrictions in the areas you already fish!! TPL
by steeliefreak1 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:58 am
Why have gear restrictions? Why not have lowered limits or C/R only in those areas but allow the use of any gear as long as it is single/barbless? It seems to me that if you are going to make a water flies only or artificial only you should have it barbless as well, it only makes sense. Why is it alright to fish a fly with a barb in the existing flies only waters? It is unfair to take certain waters away from some anglers to cater to others, especially when the existence of the fishery is in no grave danger. Maybe it would be wiser to just shut the waters in question down during certain times of the year to keep the gravel rakers and violators off from it.
by Fishndude » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:01 pm
Great post, but I have to take exception to this last part. Restricting gear on specific waters is NOT "working together." As everyone can see from this post, it is fracturous, and pits fly folks against bait and hardware folks. There are no bait or hardware fishermen pushing for these type of restrictions, anywhere.
I am all for protecting Steelhead, and especially rivers which can maintain their runs through natural reproduction. But to tell one group that they can fish those places with their methods, and exclude other methods, just isn't right. Everyone should be allowed to fish for the fish in all waters, or everyone should be excluded. But it is wrong to exclude certain people. If the Steelhead are so valuable, then the spawning seasons should feature closure on rivers which get very good natural reproduction. If there won't be a closed season to protect the spawners, then every legal fishing method should be allowed.
I agree with reduced limits (or even C&R exclusively if a particular river warrants it), barbless hooks, single hooks, etc. Some people fish for the thrill of enticing a fish to bite on an artificial fly. Others fish to fight as many fish as they can. Still others fish to be outdoors, for a break from everyday life. There should be room for all on all rivers, or room for none.
I, too, fear that the Asian Carp might be the death knell for all we hold dear in fishing. Hopefully something is done to prevent their invasion, but it seems likely that the time for drastic action is past.
by shotgunner » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:19 pm
This kind of misrepresentation grinds me.. I'll take a walk with you anytime.. and put my money that tit for tat you'll see just as many guys draggn' junk with through spawners with conventional tackle. It's a common majority practice thats, unfortunately, not likely to EVER go away.
Michigan's 'Flies only'.. What a freakn' JOKE Take a peek at some other states & provinces.. see what a 'true' definition of that really is. In this state it equates to a simple terminal restriction and nothing more. All it's accomplished is to equip the malcontents of any restriction with a ready made face to slander & target.
The true dissent [in my eyes] is BY FAR, fueled with concern about BAIT restrictions.
Rant over- I'll fish any & all methods.. anytime ~ anywhere.. and do.
Don't be manipulated by mob mentality.. Put some thought and, gasp, time & research into things. Make your suggestions from an informed position instead of the simple & easy Party Line Ticket.
by speytyer » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:29 pm
All any additional restrictions would do is add a marginal amount of fines to anybody already busted. Obviously a guy without "fly" gear stands out a bit in fly only water, maybe making it easier for the DNR to pick a target. Plenty of fisherman drift flies quite legally and sportingly on spinning gear and plenty of people have turned the fly rod into the ultimate camoflauge for snagging the s**t out of anything that swims. Snagging is already illegal. If the current laws and regulations were enforced and punishment was doled out as if a crime had been committed , we wouldn't be having this conversation. AS FAR AS PROTECTING WILD FISH REPRODUCTION, CLOSE ALL FISHING FEB - MAY( APRIL, WHATEVER), on streams or rivers that allow for natural reproduction(it's a short list)
That being said, I don't care how you fish. No low holing and please move along, first come first serve shouldn't cut it on the "people's water" ( at least for hours at a time)
by Ursus » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:58 pm
Agreed - why we don't do this is beyond me. However, in the interim I think it is worth the effort to try to minimize the damage. Certainly single, barbless hooks, whether attached to fluffy stuff or hardware, would help.
by REG » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:49 am
Among other things, you never mentioned about the mass destruction of redds by anglers fishing gravel, and, as you likely already know, there is more successful reproduction from egg to fry in stream areas that are closed until trout opener.
So, based on what you stated above, then would you support closure of steelhead spawning areas on streams with documented successful natural reproduction from, say, March 1 to trout opener?
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