Sunday, February 5, 2012

Operation-Conservation Brook Trout

Conservation of our natural landscapes/wildlife.  This is currently happening across the United States at a unprecedented level currently. It is wonderful to see concerned citizens of this great country taking care of the environment so that future generations can enjoy spending time in beautiful natural places.  Here in the Upper Peninsula we are truly blessed to be surrounded by such beauty everywhere you look.

One of the most beautifully wild creatures that calls the U.P. home is currently under siege, our native Brook Trout.  Yoopers have chased this believed icon of the icy streams with rod & reel for centuries.  Their creels have been full with these beautiful fish and they have provided great recreation for many.  Historically their population has flourished, as it still is this very day.  A short time ago regulations were passed to lower the daily creel limit from 10 Trout per day to 5 Trout.  This raised quite the stir as many complained about the DNR taking away their rights as anglers.  In reality what the DNR was doing was trying to conserve populations of wild fish in a day that natural habitat was being degraded by numerous factors.  I believe its been around 10 years since this limit reduction has been enacted, I can truthfully say that this has resulted in better overall Brook Trout fishing here in the U.P..

Well, now there is a push to get these regulations changed back to the old "10" per day limit.  This is exactly what this is "the old way", regulations are changed to meet the current needs of our Trout streams.  In all reality, its probably doesn't matter if the limit is 10 or 50 Trout; people are going to violate & keep more than their limit.  But this increase in limit is absolutely a step in the wrong direction.  Conservation of our native Brook Trout is paramount & our State of Michigan needs to strive to preserve this gem-not promote the taking of such a gross number of Trout.  I know of many rivers that if an angler was to keep 10 Brook Trout per day it would absolutely devastate the population.  This is not sound "science" to allow such an absurdly large number of Brook Trout in your creel.

The reason this whole debate/proposition is on the table is due to special interest groups lobbying our Natural Resource Commission members.  Namely our U.P. NRC Comminsioners & some U.P. sportsmans clubs aren't thinking in the best interest of the people of Michigan  These people believe this is a feasible change to our regulations, but it is not up to these people.  They are pushing for this change quite aggressively and this is currently on the fast track.  Seriously, this is thinking that would happen in like 1935, its embarrassing for the state of Michigan & proposals like this need to be scrutinized this day in age. It looks as if this could possibly be passed prior to April! It rests in the anglers of Michigan as a whole and the biologists of MI DNR. 

First off, people need to contact their Natural Resource Commission member.  It may be pointless to contact either of the NRC members from here in the U.P. as they are already promoting this increase.  But on the flipside the U.P. Commissioners may state that they didn't hear from any Yoopers against this prop, so it may be beneficial to contact them for this fact alone. Below are the members of the NRC & their contact info. Please contact the commissioners from lower Michigan, the U.P. Commissioners are the ones pushing for the issue to pass. Please call or email these people & let them know you oppose the new increase in Brook Trout limit. 

Conserving our wild Brook Trout population is of udder importance.

Here is the info for NRC Commissioners-Contact them ASAP!,4570,7-153-39002_11862-26986--,00.html

Every stream needs to be looked at on a case by case basis to determine the overall population of Brook Trout present, only then should new limits be enacted in my opinion. An overall general increase in limit on all rivers that do not have existing special regulations would be absolutely terrible.  The killing of 10 native Brook Trout is a complete waste of a natural resource and once they are gone there is no bringing them back.