For nearly the last year, Michigan Trout Unlimited and other coldwater fisheries stakeholder groups have been working in cooperation with the MDNR Fisheries Division to improve the current regulations for inland trout and salmon streams. As part of this process, the MDNR is now soliciting public input on sections of streams that would be good candidates for addition into gear-restrictions.
By definition, “gear-restricted” waters are where only artificial lures and flies are allowed to be used. State law limits the maximum number of river miles that may fall into this designation to approximately 212 miles. Presently only 97 miles of river have been designated with gear restrictions. It is the intent of the MDNR Fisheries Division to undertake a comprehensive review of possible candidates for addition to this category.
Starting on January 7, 2010 an internet email address, email@example.com, has been established for the public to provide these nominations directly to Fisheries Division staff. They will be accepting input until February 5, 2010. They are requesting that nominations be as specific as possible and include information such as; the specific section of stream being suggested (use road/bridge or landmark boundaries to identify the section being nominated), brief description of the rationale for why you believe the nomination is justified, and what you think the gear-restricted regulation should entail. Fisheries Order 213 is useful in providing general criteria to be considered for gear-restricted waters, and can be found at http://www.michigantu.org/index.php/conservation/54-resource-management.
Please take the opportunity to have your thoughts and opinions heard on this topic. Michigan TU will continue to be involved in the review process for those stream sections that become nominated. Thanks for taking the time to participate!