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U.P. Brook Trout Bag Limit Issue Settled For Now

November 9th, 2012

Yesterday evening, at the November monthly Natural Resources Commission meeting, DNR Director Keith Creagh made important adjustments to his plans for doubling the brook trout bag limit in the Upper Peninsula as outlined in the revised Fisheries Order 200.

Throughout the last year and a half, MUCC has worked with the Conservation Coalition to give input into strategic planning efforts for the DNR and Fisheries Division, advising them to set priorities with input from the public and set aside activities that had little benefit to the resource or support of the public. Our goal is to help the DNR be the conservation leader and facilitator, while allowing user groups to assist in meeting conservation goals and taking on a bigger role. We are concerned that this new trout regulation and the corresponding reseaerch needed will burden an already stressed and dwindling Game and Fish Fund. Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter said this could cost $25,000-55,000 and stretch his staff as well. We asked, if we pursue this path, what are we NOT going to do? Download our full testimony here.

In addition, MUCC’s voting delegates did not support a resolution at the 2012 Annual Convention this summer, which would have supported an increase in brook trout bag limits from 5 to 10 fish throughout the U.P.

In the end, Director Creagh listened to comments in opposition from Michigan Trout Unlimited, MUCC, and numerous citizens – and acknowledged their validity. He committed to ensuring that the Fisheries Division positions itself better to address these types of issues through targeted research and planning.

He also altered the final proposal, which now only allows the 10 fish bag limit on 5 select U.P. streams, to categorize these streams as “Experimental Regulations” rather than a new Type 5  category. These regulations will go into effect on these 5 streams in April 2013.

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