Phil Duracz of Chesterton, Indiana, broke the state record for whitefish while fishing on Lake Michigan near Portage on March 6. Duracz’s catch weighed 9.34 …
Historically, Saginaw Bay supported Lake Huron’s largest commercial walleye fishery and was second in the Great Lakes to only Lake Erie.
The earliest commercial fisheries dated to the 1830s, and walleye were specifically noted in catch records as early as 1858.
The Michigan Fish Producers Association representing the few commercial fishermen that remain in Michigan is suing the state’s Department of Natural Resources over changes to industry rules. Commercial fishermen were informed by the Michigan DNR that the agency did not renew commercial fishing licenses for 2021.
We have a conversation with a Michigan DNR fish biologist on why we have had a decline of yellow perch on Saginaw Bay. The answer was a bit of a surprise.
The Michigan House passed a trio of related bills that will cease all commercial perch fishing on the state’s Great Lakes. The “Trio” also continues to ban the taking of walleye and lake trout by the remaining 13 commercial fishing companies left in Michigan. The next step will be a vote in the Senate where it will face a competing bill that is less damaging to Michigan commercial fishing
The planned demise of commercial fishing is not just occurring in Michigan. It’s happening across the United States. On the east coast, NOAAs hopeful efforts along New England serve to wipe out an industry while doing nothing for the fishery.
A detailed analysis Michigan Department of Natural Resources fish harvest data point toward a healthier walleye fishery. However, the number of recreational fishermen fishing in Saginaw Bay has dramatically dropped over the past 30 years.
A trio of bills now under consideration in the Michigan legislature will, if passed, be the final act that may eliminate the 13 remaining family owned commercial fishing businesses in the state.