DNR Asks for Input on Proposed Bass Season Changes

DNR logoThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a citizen advisory group, the Warmwater Resources Steering Committee, have been working to possibly alter bass seasons. The main outcome of the proposed expansion is to increase fishing and harvesting seasons. To clarify, current bass regulations to protect bass such as having no winter harvest season, daily limits, and 14-inch size requirements will still be in place regardless of any changes made. Here are the four proposed changes:
  1. No change. Keep existing seasons.
  2. Year-round catch and immediate release (CIR) fishing for bass. Move harvest season on Lake St. Clair up to the Saturday before Memorial Day.
  3. Year-round CIR fishing for bass. All harvest seasons remain the same.
  4. Year-round CIR fishing for bass. Align opening day of harvest seasons for bass to match the respective opening days (U.P. and L.P.) for walleye, pike, and muskellunge.
The decision to take up the possible changes will be decided on after a series of public meetings and surveys the DNR will host. Encouraging discussion from both anglers and non-anglers, like waterfront property owners, is highlighted by a series of options to gauge public opinion. MUCC's 2014 Annual Convention delegates recently discussed this issue and supported a resolution to expand catch and immediate release year round, as well as having a common opening day for the harvest season on the Saturday before Memorial Day (Option 2).
detailed-underwater-photo-of-smallmouth-bass-fish-micropterus-dolomieu_w725_h580There is also much merit in Option 4 considering MUCC's past resolutions in support of streamlined and simplified regulations by having common opening dates for these four warmwater species. The easiest thing MUCC members can do is to complete the DNR bass regulations survey. The DNR also is sending out surveys via mail to a random sample of licensed anglers. Stakeholders can also attend public input meeting continuing this week and present your point of view:
  • Wednesday, July 23, from 7-9 p.m. (EDT), Ishpeming Town Hall, 1575 U.S. 41 West, Ishpeming
  • Wednesday, July 23, 6-7:30 p.m. (EDT), DNR Field Office, 1732 W. M-32, Gaylord
  • Thursday, July 24, 7-9 p.m. (EDT), Portage Lake District Library, 58 Huron St., Houghton
Please get involved and share your input with the DNR today!

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