Thursday, April 30, 2009

The State of Michigan Proposed Changes for Pike Fishing Regulations

Sorry I was late to this one as the public comment period ends today (April 30) but I thought I'd share this as it is encouraging to see that the state fisheries folks are concerned with the pike fishery and are looking for ways to improve it. Here is a draft proposal

Ironically, the cover photo for the draft sure looks to me to be part of the problem, note that the three healthy, prime spawner sized pike are attached to a stringer! I gave it a quick read and shot off my two cents, if anyone cares or has their own two cents to throw in, here's what I wrote:

After a quick read and my limited understanding of fisheries management (I'm not a fisheries biologist, just a fisherman), I strongly favor the idea of a slot limit. The idea of protecting the "prime" fish seems smart to me, they are the most effective spawners and therefore key to the future of the fishery. Most people don't/won't keep the really small fish and if someone catches a real trophy fish, there (unfortunately) is going to be a tendency to keep it regardless of what the regs say. I also believe with the really large fish, they are approaching the end of their natural lives anyway so if they are harvested, it's not as much of a problem. If a 48" fish is 15 years old (for example, I have no idea what the actual size/age breakdown would be) and will live to be 16 or 17 then what's the harm in taking it. Protect those fish in the "prime of their lives" as they will reproduce many times and if released may provide another opportunity for an angler to catch them again (and again). As an aside, I think the slot limit idea is a good idea for many of our state's trout waters.
Thank you for your consideration.
Kirk Novak
The Northern Angler
803 W Front St
Traverse City, MI 49684

So here's two more cents, why do we need to spear pike (or any fish for that matter)? Anyway, I am happy to see that pike are "on the radar" for the state fisheries department and hope to see some effective new regulations in the future.
By the way, pike season is open and the spring is the best time to get after them with the fly rod!


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