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Don't cater to special interest groups - protect fish and fishing

This petition had 876 supporters

This is a petition against a proposal to drastically change current bass fishing regulations in all Michigan. We are not against tournament angling - many of us are tournament anglers. We just want to fish in a way that won't possibly harm the fishery. Changes - if necessary - should be conservative, based on an actual need, and based in science.

As an example of the problem we are trying to address, look at Lake St. Clair, the gem of Michigan. 1/3 of the fish in the entire state are captured sustainably on this unique lake. This approach provides billions of dollars in economic opportunities and endless hours of communion with nature. The fishery is very healthy but it is the most fragile when the bass are spawning.

One small special interest group has petitioned the DNR for years to change the fishing season to 7 weeks earlier for daily tournaments. This would allow tournament anglers to remove fish 7 weeks early from their nests during a critical time, leaving eggs vulnerable to predators such as gobies and perch. When the fish are finally released (if they survive) it will be far from their nests. This is called Catch and Delayed Release (CDR), and the practice has around a 50% mortality rate. 

This latest move would affect the fish during most of their spawning season. Bass only spawn for a total of 4-6 weeks..

The rest of the lakes in the state would start the tournament season four weeks early. The agenda of the group who has initiated this legislation is to ultimately get a catch-and-keep policy year-round.

The DNR is supporting this tiny group of anglers. There is no science backing this decision, just opinions that it is "probably ok." They also have not questioned local homeowners about how they would feel about tournament anglers in their home waters 4-7 weeks earlier then usual.

Even Ontario doesn't allow any fishing for bass on the same lake -Lake St. Clair - until the last weekend in June. By this time most of the fish have spawned and fishing them is sustainable. This new plan to opens the season nearly two months earlier to CDR to tournament anglers. This drastic approach is unfair to the fish and other anglers.

The DNR should abandon this plan and protect the future by maintaining the current regulations which have kept the fishery healthy and diverse. At the very least, they should start off with a plan that changes the season in small increments, not by three weeks when the fish are most fragile.

Again, this is not a petition against tournament fishing, we support it. We just think that this fishery is too precious to endanger for a few guys greedy to get the fish earlier when they are easy picking.

Today: Save Lake St. Clair is counting on you

Save Lake St. Clair needs your help with “Protect the fish on Lake St. Clair from special-interest groups who want special privileges to harass them on their nests while they are most vulnerable”. Join Save Lake St. Clair and 875 supporters today.