From the Transom by Jim Fenner

A View from over the Transom

Covid is mostly behind us now. But not gone. We all need to keep up on our Covid vaccinations to keep it away or under control. As of this writing, more than 10 people still die from Covid every single day.
Reading my own notes from this time last year, it’s amazing how much has stayed almost the same while at the same time how much other things have changed.
Let me explain: The consent decree issue lingers and festers and continue to be an extremely difficult and thorny. A proposed decree has been published but not yet adopted. Its adoption has been delayed and extended by the Judge, seeking more information. The proposed decree has many issues that are being contested by the coalition. Clearly, things have not gone well. Our fishery is at stake, and the coalition continues to need our support and backing.

It will be a tragedy, if after all those years of hard fought efforts to rid the lakes of commercial gill nets, the proposed decree is affirmed as written, bringing many more gill nets into the lakes. Thirty-eight years ago the first Consent Decree set the stage for the truly amazing Michigan sport fishery we have today. The addition of more gill nets in more zones as written in the proposed CD would be a huge backward step.
The proposed decree which the State of Michigan plans to agree to gives away the fishery we worked so hard to create to those who would use more gill nets for commercial purposes. If it does so, it may plant the seeds for the demise of our charter industry.

We all need to support the MCBA as it goes forward, dealing with this issue, perhaps the most important is maintaining our sport fishing and our Great Lakes. If the MCBA negotiators who represent us in the coalition know that we still are all united, our prospects for a better consent decree that best protects the resource and the sport fishing industry will be achieved. Funds are needed to support the coalition. Please do what you can to financially assist the coalitions efforts.

Looking ahead to the fall. The MCBA board after much discussion and planning will be holding a new and significantly different fall conference this year as noted in an article by President Winowiecki elsewhere in this newsletter. It will be held on October 27 and 28th, in Holland at the Hayworth Hotel.. The new format provides for a full day conference on Saturday the 28th, including many carefully chosen speakers during the day; concluding with the annual meeting. For those who wish to spend more time with the officers and other members and who may wish to spend the night before the meeting to be present early on Saturday, or for social reasons, there will be a social gathering and a dinner with the board members on the evening of Friday the 27th. The board is hopeful that this new format will allow for more members to attend and to participate in a strong program with only a one day commitment of time.

Are you considering retiring or taking a break? Keep the MCBA retired/inactive membership option in your mind. This member category is for Captains who have concluded or suspended their active membership, but who would like to continue to be an MCBA member for a very small membership fee.

Even though I’m retired, I get the newsletter, the emails, etc. At the fall conference I catch up with many friends from my active membership days. Good friends, good information, good times. Maybe I will see you there. Meanwhile, keep a tight line.

Jim Fenner, MCBA Captain, retired.