Senate Bill 251 amends Michigan commercial fishing laws to limit the DNR’s ability to create commercial fishing rules in favor of codified language set by the Michigan legislature.
Senate Bill 251 would amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to restrict the DNR’s authority to issue Fisheries Orders to manage the Michigan licensed commercial fishery.
We have been following the plight of commercial fishing on the Great Lakes for several years. As a result, we have been contacted by folks around the country to let us know that the assault on commercial fishing for wild caught fish is not only happening in Michigan but every fishing area in North America.
Four Michigan State legislators demand the restoration of commercial fishing licenses for 13 fisher operations left in Michigan.
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.
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.