The 2018 charter season has started. Good catches of lake trout and some very large salmon are being reported.
We are three years into the brown trout plant on the northwest coast of Lake Michigan. It seems to be working. I’m hearing rumors, and looking at many pictures of nice brown trout caught from Leland to Ludington. Late April through May seems to be the best time to catch these fish.
King Salmon Plants: The Tribes did not agree with a MDNR proposal to reduce lake trout plants in northwestern Lake Michigan. There will be an increase from 330,000 to 450,000 king salmon in 2019 due to lake trout cuts in southern Lake Michigan to stay within the guidelines of the predator prey balance sheet.
Tribal Law Enforcement: All the letters, phone calls and attending meetings helped us replace, and add officers to the State Tribal Enforcement Unit. Officers appointed are:
Northwest Lower Michigan: Officer Sean Kehoe
Central Upper Peninsula: Officer Mike Hammill
Eastern Upper Peninsula: Officer Kevin Postma
Southern Lake Huron: Officer Nick Atkin
Investigator Upper Peninsula: Officer John Busken
Investigator Lower Peninsula: Officer Nick Torskey
We want to welcome to these officers. As we all know with the new Tribal Decree approaching, we will need all the help we can get.
The new Michigan DNR online licensing website is a bit of a disaster. I do know they are working on it as of the writing of this article. It is way too complicated, and takes way too much time to write a 24 hour license. The MCBA board has voiced our disappointment on this issue.
We had Coast Guard Officer CDR Matt Dooris at our last MCBA Board meeting. He was very informal. The Coast Guard is going to clamp down on illegal charters around the state. The board stressed that if a charter boat has a State of Michigan inspection sticker and an MCBA sticker dated for 2018, please give us a pass, and go to the next boat. He was very appreciative of this information. He was given MCBA stickers to educate Coast Guard officers around the state.
Tribal Decree: The tribes are dragging their feet on coming to the table to start negotiations of the new Tribal Decree. The old decree expires August 27, 2020. The State is prepared and ready to get started.
There are some issues on Northern Lake Huron Zone MH-1. The sport fishery went over their total allowable catch (TAC) two years in a row. The sport anglers are looking at a reduction from a three lake trout limit to a two fish limit.
The MCBA Raffle to support the ìCoalition to Protect Michigan Resourcesî will be mailed out shortly. Larry has all the tickets and envelopes printed. Sue will be stuffing envelopes shortly. We have a long way to go and appreciate all your support. Anybody who would like more tickets, please email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 231.409.0963.
These are a few highlights of what has occurred in the past few months. Many other issues concerning our fishery are being discussed.
Stay safe out there.
Captain Bill Winowiecki – MCBA Vice President