From the Helm . . .
This summer is going down as a very busy summer for MCBA, not only for me, but the board of directors as well. First item that came up in early June was the proposed chumming ban on Michigan’s steelhead and salmon rivers. This ban affects our member captains who are river guides also.
Fly fishing groups who were pushing this ban were from the Muskegon River area and had completely gone around the MDNR. They went directly to the Natural Resources Commission and pushed for this ban.
MDNR fisheries and law enforcement said there were never any problems with fishermen and river guides chumming. This whole thing set up a future pathway in hunting and fishing by going over the DNR departments and going directly to the NRC for law statute changes.
As of now chumming is banned on Michigan rivers and streams. This will now make fishing in the winter tougher for our guide captains.
The second idem drawing a lot of attention with our membership is the Lake Michigan Chinook salmon proposed cuts by our MDNR. This is a hot’ button issue with many of our captains along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Most Lake Michigan captains are not in favor of more stocking cuts for Lake Michigan in 2017. After numerous phone calls from captains, MCBA came out in support for our Lake Michigan captains and officially went on record as opposing this 2017 cut on Chinook salmon. Maxine Appleby and I put together a survey that went out via the Internet to all members. At the time I wrote this article, the survey results were not 100% complete. I can tell our membership the first 120 or so, the replies by our member captains was running 75% to 80% in opposing any more cuts in Chinook stocking for 2017. I and most of the board of directors are standing behind our captains as their elected representatives in this issue over the proposed stocking cuts.
We as a fishing association of professional captains have always supported our MDNR fisheries people and will in the future, but on this one issue we are not in agreement.
In closing, I hope to see a good turnout at our fall annual meeting at Treetops Resort in Gaylord. Lots of important info for you as a charter captain will be there at Saturday’s general workshop meeting. With all the uncertainty over Chinook salmon it’s well worth it to be there and voice your opinions.
Capt. Eric Andersen President