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Author Topic: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder  (Read 4139 times)

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djkimmel

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Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« on: June 04, 2014, 10:30:04 PM »

Senate Bill 869 the bass season bill was approved by Governor Rick Snyder at 11:06am Tuesday 6/3/2014. The approved SB 869 was filed with the Michigan Secretary of State later yesterday at 4:12pm and assigned PA 0145'14 with immediate effect!

This action has removed all bass season limits from Michigan state law granting full authority now to the Natural Resources Commission to create a new bass season for 2015.

Several persons have helped tremendously at the Capitol including a GLBass member, MUCC and the MDNR's Trevor VanDyke and Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter, along with Senator Hansen who first introduced SB 869 with co-sponsor Senators Rick Jones, Thomas Casperson, Darwin Booher, James Marleau, Mark Jansen and Judith Emmons.

A big thanks to everyone who helped, made calls, sent email or wrote any letters!

Now, we are shortly expecting 4 options from the MDNR Fisheries Division to go to public meetings in July, an online survey and possibly a mailed survey. Expect more information on this in a separate post shortly (and get ready to attend a meeting so your voice is heard!).
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21XDC

Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 07:12:56 AM »

Congrats on all the hard work you have done...  :-*  :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*  ;D
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 08:13:53 AM »

Hip Hip Hooray! Nice job Dan!
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 08:22:00 AM »

Quote
Now, we are shortly expecting 4 options from the MDNR Fisheries Division to go to public meetings in July, an online survey and possibly a mailed survey. Expect more information on this in a separate post shortly (and get ready to attend a meeting so your voice is heard!).

It needs to be emphasized that nothing has changed yet for 2015.  Only the people that make the decisions has changed.  We need to be active for a little bit longer and attend the meetings, view the surveys, and write the letters so the new people making the decisions have all our support and help.
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jgip087

Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 11:42:43 AM »

Nice job!  I still think we should have some form of a closed season.  I would be behind a closed season from ice-on to ice-off and for 2 weeks prior to Memorial Day to allow one wave of fish a chance to spawn every year.  I believe more research needs to be conducted on the effect on small lakes.  We have many lakes that are 200 acres or less and a 20 boat tournament out there every weekend, which I guarantee will happen, could pull all of them off their beds every week.   
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djkimmel

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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 11:56:29 AM »

Wouldn't it make more sense for the thousands of not-small lakes to have them open to provide more opportunity rather than limit all the opportunity to protect lakes that may not need the protection?

Also, since the spawn does not happen the exact same time every year on every lake how would you schedule two weeks for lakes to hit this event? Just one more reason almost all states do not used closed seasons.

I feel there are not enough tournaments in Michigan, despite how many we have, to hit every small lake on every weekend. Tournaments tend to concentrate on the lakes people most like to fish when it comes to numbers. One more reason these types of limits tend to be unsuccessful at fixing anything.

My final comment would be why close the waters during ice-on to ice-off? Again, it is a movable event that doesn't even happen on every lake every year? What would you hope to accomplish by this considering the past few winters we've had, that other fish that hit similar lures are IN season and bass are not heavily targeted during any actual ice fishing season? Personally, I would be thinking of those localized fisheries that stay open all or most of the ice fishing season, such as hot ponds and certain rivers, as more potential legal bass fishing opportunity that is being wasted or only enjoyed right now by people who ignore the existing unscientific (social) closed bass season.
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Genie

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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 01:24:41 PM »

Nice job!  I still think we should have some form of a closed season.  I would be behind a closed season from ice-on to ice-off and for 2 weeks prior to Memorial Day to allow one wave of fish a chance to spawn every year.  I believe more research needs to be conducted on the effect on small lakes.  We have many lakes that are 200 acres or less and a 20 boat tournament out there every weekend, which I guarantee will happen, could pull all of them off their beds every week.   

I'm going to swerve into oncoming traffic on the way home.
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 03:07:42 PM »

Thanks for the hard work. 

Since you will have a lot of free time now can you get rid of winter.  Year round with no ice on the lakes would be nice. 
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 11:10:27 PM »

Nice job!  I still think we should have some form of a closed season.  I would be behind a closed season from ice-on to ice-off and for 2 weeks prior to Memorial Day to allow one wave of fish a chance to spawn every year.  I believe more research needs to be conducted on the effect on small lakes.  We have many lakes that are 200 acres or less and a 20 boat tournament out there every weekend, which I guarantee will happen, could pull all of them off their beds every week.   

I'm going to swerve into oncoming traffic on the way home.

That would cause me AND your wife and kids a few problems... Everyone is allowed their opinions too. Don't forget.
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djkimmel

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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 11:19:41 PM »

Thanks for the hard work. 

Since you will have a lot of free time now can you get rid of winter.  Year round with no ice on the lakes would be nice. 

The rest of the hard work is yet to come... 3 days at the MUCC state convention next weekend (guess I better make some reservations...). Public meetings coming in July. Still have some info to share with people who seem unaware yet that our entire Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula bass spawn happens after the regular bass season opens Memorial weekend. And has done so for 43 years since the MDNR changed the bass season in 1970.

I could feel like Genie once in awhile if too many more people talk to me about how we have to 'keep protecting the spawn'... Either that... or schedule some people for eye appointments maybe...?? Also, possibly I am getting tired of hearing how 'they' (they being these few persons I question even care about bass?) don't want more bass tournaments during the spawn up there, again considering the entire spawn up there has already been open to bass tournaments since 1970. Yeah... pretty tired of that one too. It is nice to be popular... ;D

Plus, there are some more NRC meetings to attend to actually get a new bass season after public meetings and surveys.

Maybe I can take a look at your suggestion the winter of 2017...? I don't have that calendar printed out yet. We'll see...
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2014, 07:58:41 AM »

Quote
Everyone is allowed their opinions too. Don't forget.

Yeah - they're like @$$holes and everyone has one ...
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 10:51:41 PM »

Boy... did I hear some from my meeting stalker yesterday...  ::) I'm implementing Operation I Don't See You Standing There from now on with him... I've already heard all his opinions enough to remember them from now on... I don't expect he will be getting any new ones soon...  :-*

Meanwhile, I need to share a bunch of information this weekend about the bass season. Going to get my beauty sleep tonight so I can get caught up on that one thing at least this weekend.
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jgip087

Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2014, 06:18:19 PM »

I agree with you on most of the things you've stated, but the lakes in SW Michigan, and I'm assuming other areas of Michigan, are hammered.  There are tournaments multiple times every week on a few lakes that are less than 500 acres.  I am all for having the season open, but some lakes are going to suffer; there is not enough research on such bodies of water.  I still believe additional measures should be taken to protect these lakes.  I know of many anglers in SW Michigan and those living in northern Indiana that are really concerned with an open season; the Indiana guys have voiced the most concern because the lakes here (I now live in Indiana) suck compared to Michigan.  If we're using science to base the season, bass don't mature sexually until age 3-5 (depending on growth rate) and they reach 14 inches from age 5-7 (again, depending on growth rate).  A sensible solution would be to open the season year-round, but increase the size limit to 15 inches, allowing bass 3 years to spawn before reaching keeper size.  This would theoretically allow for more fish to spawn each year and should keep catch and keep rates below 40% for heavily pressured lakes and around 20-25% for other lakes, assuming the rates compare to the rates of prior studies.  
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 09:15:32 AM by jgip087 »
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2014, 11:16:59 PM »

The MDNR previously looked at the issues of the size limit and found the 14 inch size was the best all-around average for the most lakes. It allows bass on most lakes to spawn once or twice before they're kept.

That's IF they're kept. You and other people keep talking about bass harvest when the overall average voluntary release rate statewide on keeper bass in Michigan is 80%. What harvest are you assuming happens to the bass that keeps them from spawning??

I love talking science! I wish many more people would read the full studies, attend meetings and talk at length to a variety of fisheries biologists, hopefully, including biologists who have spent some or most of their career working on bass.

Some lakes get 'hammered' whatever that means with an 80% average live release rate of keeper-sized bass. Some lakes don't get fished as hard. Generally, anglers go where they think the fishing is best for the species they target. When they start to think they aren't going to the best lakes anymore they generally go to other lakes instead.

It's easy to think what 50 or 100 bass tournament anglers might be doing at this lake or that lake if you fish lots of tournaments, but when we are looking at all these variables at a state level we have to look at the hundreds of thousands of non-bass tournament anglers, where they fish, how often and what they're doing with their bass if we really want to make smart decisions.

No one, including the MDNR, wants to start managing every bass lake individually. The regulations would drive the hundreds of thousands of average and non-tournament anglers crazy. The MDNR doesn't have the staff or budget to manage every lake individually.

The most obvious answer is to manage most of the lakes and rivers the same and to the most wise use, not to the lowest common denominator of 5 or 10 lakes in each region that might need something else. Which is how we've basically been doing it since 1970 when bass season was moved to a 3-day holiday weekend, not to protect the spawn, but to put the opener on a major weekend when more bass are shallow, more readily available and use it to drive tourism. Absolutely nothing to do with the spawn other than to take advantage of a lot of it.

So many people have repeated over the decades that it was done for the spawn that lots of people who apparently don't have good sunglasses still believe that it's true when it's obviously NOT true.

If we let people fish whenever they can and just tell them what they can keep and what they can't keep, more people will go fishing. That is good for Michigan, it's good for the MDNR, it's good for business and natural resources tourism and it's good for bass fishing. With the high voluntary release rate bass enjoy in Michigan the number of lakes that might (might - it will need to be proven first because you can't fix ANYTHING if you don't know the REAL cause) need extra help through fishing regulations will be small, and possibly manageable.

We already have a few lakes and places around the state with special bass regulations such as Sylvania tract, Beaver Island, Wakeley, and some of the lakes where the MDNR has lowered the size limit to 10 inches and is trying to encourage anglers to keep small bass to lower the numbers of bass in the lakes (a few in SW Michigan).

WHY some anglers are so quick to point the finger at themselves (or more often at other anglers not just like them) without any data to support that they need to be pointing fingers at ANY angler will always dumbfound me. There's still too many fishing restrictions in place in Michigan and other states that have no science behind them accomplishing anything other than RESTRICTING OPPORTUNITY. Those kinds of regulations usually do that well anyway...

I'm slowly hearing and seeing a shift in the MDNR and more anglers wanting to see if regulation changes will actually accomplish what some people are demanding or think they need. I'm happier every time I hear that kind of response or discussion now instead of the old 'we have to do something!!!' which too often led to restrictions that didn't make things any better for anyone.

History is chock full of examples of that. Lake Erie Ohio giving up bass tournaments during their 'spawn' (as if you can always hit the exact bass spawn with the same dates from year to year) is a constant reminder to me of regulations that restricted opportunity but have not shown any positive population improvement to their bass. Anglers still tell me their 'okay' with that because it had to be done. Why? What did it fix? Nothing that anyone has been able to show me. It just removed more opportunity. But I guess it is okay because some people don't like bass tournaments anyway...?
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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 12:29:02 AM »

As far as some of your responses do you have ANY data that shows the number of tournaments and amount of bass caught are having ANY impact on the bass populations on ANY lake? Or are you just assuming it must? I deal with assumption in the various meetings and committees though more often it comes out of the more public meetings. I ask because the common mistake most people make who talk about science but don't actually get involved directly in it use assumption to guide their thought processes.

About growth rates I have talked to the biologists in that area of Michigan and they are claiming the growth rates are all over the map. I'm waiting to see more data from more lakes that might possibly be comparable to each other. Since the MDNR has ALREADY studied the size limit issue and found 14 inches to be the best average AND it has been amazingly successful for the overall Michigan bass fishing inland and the Great Lakes I'm not going to suggest a one inch change. They previously looked at 14 inches verses 15 inches and there was no significant gain while angler satisfaction would be reduced somewhat. And reduced angler satisfaction leads to less anglers fishing or buying licenses WHICH is BAD for everyone. I ALWAYS ask for angler satisfaction discussion and data whenever we are now talking about restrictions and changes.

I guarantee that you have no data available for Michigan lakes to show going from 14 inches to 15 inches would accomplishing anything significant for Michigan bass fishing. You know what you need in SW Michigan - better habitat. You put some effort into habitat improvement on many of those lakes and I'm willing to bet your bass fishing is more likely to improve while KEEPING people out bass fishing! Again – good for Michigan! Verses more unscientifically supported restrictions.

As to why there are variable growth rates with a couple lakes showing slower growth supposedly I have heard people who are more than willing to blame bass tournaments. I'm used to that. Because we are visible. More so than the much larger numbers of non-tournament anglers, who vastly outnumber us, yet somehow... have little or no impact in some peoples' minds... ::)

I can easily look at the lakes I have been provided and see that some of them are very popular bass tournament lakes while others are not. So how can the same thing be caused on popular bass tournament lakes and unpopular lakes BY tournaments?? hmmm...? sounds fishy... kind of like Ohio bass anglers demanding change on Lake Erie even though the same things appeared to be happening in Ontario waters where the bass are ‘protected’ by a long CLOSED season…?? Hmmm again… fishy again.

Assuming that ALL similar sized lakes are affected the same is poor science. Assuming that all perceptions about various bass populations are caused by whatever you're most familiar with is poor science. Assuming anything about bass populations based on what you think is going on without actual data such as involved creel surveys and sampling to see what is really going on is poor science. We can’t ‘manage’ our bass fishing with perception, assumption and what people think if we really want to manage them to the best they can provide and the most wise use.

Your claimed catch-and-keep rates are WAY out of line with actual DATA. The only lakes the MDNR has been able to show noticeable higher harvest rates than near the state average of 20% over there are the lakes where the MDNR is marketing to anglers to keep small bass because they think there’s too many small bass in those lakes! Again, if you're going to start quoting these kinds of things I would say produce the studies, creel surveys and sampling you are using to come up with these numbers. I've sat in lots of meetings where these kinds of things are being discussed by the actual people who do them and your numbers are nowhere near what is available OR what is going on. You can't just make things up based on what you think you're seeing on a few days here and there when you're in a bass tournament or practicing for one. You're not even seeing the majority of the anglers that way. That is not science to make those kinds of assumptions with no data to back them up.

As far as Indiana, I have friends who LOVE fishing there! They have what, 400 lakes, compared to our 11,000!?! Yet they have the largest bass federation in the country, they allow catch-and-keep ALL YEAR including in their Northern Lakes most similar to your SW Michigan lakes and yet their IDNR has reported in actual studies - not just what some anglers perceive - that their bass IN THOSE lakes are as good or better now than they were 10 years ago.

I see more than enough Indiana tournament results and fishing reports with pictures to know that angler perception still drives too much decision for too many anglers. I'm going to go along FIRST with the IDNR data. And second, with my friends, who are good anglers who actually go to Indiana every spring because they can't fish here legally and they still catch plenty of bass and quality bass EVERY spring just across that border.

I used to go there every spring too many years ago and the times I didn't do well were simple - it was too cold yet and I didn't know how to catch coldwater bass at the time, or I could see plenty of bass and not catch them well because yes the bass were seeing more than a few lures. It actually drove me to work hard at becoming a better bass angler.

Many years ago it became clear to me that what many anglers perceive as poor fishing is more often attributed to some anglers being really, really good at catching bass in many conditions while the rest of us just need to get better. I'm not trying to be mean or a jerk - so much of this whole issue is driven by social issues NOT science that I have to talk about the social parts and somehow get more anglers to understand (and admit it frankly). I've been lucky to fish with way too many really good bass anglers over the years now to not know that what some anglers claim to be poor fishing due to other angler pressure (often 'other' not themselves... another common social challenge) is the truly good angler's bonanza.

Most anglers would catch more bass if they stopped listening to 'dock talk' and went out there every time with open eyes willing to learn whatever the fish and the water is sharing. And bass fishing and bass management would be better off overall too if they'd do it! Hey, I've struggled on 'tough' lakes too. And then... I get hooked up with someone who isn't limiting him or herself, go out with them and have my EYES OPENED BIGTIME! Including on some of those SW Michigan and Northern Indiana 'tough' lakes. Including recently. The difference between what some anglers complain about verses what these really good anglers are still catching is sometimes vast and VERY eye-opening for me. Just reinforces what I’ve believed for a long, long time. We anglers can be our own worst enemies in many ways and we can’t afford to be our own worst enemies anymore when it comes to fisheries management decisions.

So... my main messages in summary:
1) If you're making claims of numbers - produce real data from scientific sources for those waters that backs it up... because you will get called on it.
2) If you're only making assumptions and don't have the actual producible data to back it up you will definitely get called on that.
3) If you're going to suggest 'fixes' for any waters you need to be specific on what waters you're talking about AND have data to back up that your 'fix' will actually fix something (or get called on it).
4) Does that mean people can't share their opinions? Of course not, but it will be made clear one way or the other what is OPINION verses SCIENCE. Because that's how we gonna roll on here... :)

We've wasted decades in Michigan of lost opportunity by operating by opinion, social management without major efforts to counter it and the horrible 'doing something' just to make people happy without knowing if the 'something' would do ANYTHING. Now that it seems like we can change that... I promise everyone who might read this that I will never support limiting fishing opportunity on 20 'good' lakes because 2 'bad' lakes might need less fishing pressure according to someone without any data to back it up. ESPECIALLY if the people thinking the lakes need more restrictions are anglers themselves because anglers rarely have real data available or take the time to read it and acquire it. Anglers too often make poor decisions based on bias, misinformation shared by other people who also don't know what they're talking about and too little data or knowledge to reach any good management decision. That goes for pretty much any fishing or hunting management issue. I'm going for 3 days to the MUCC state convention this week to keep that ball rolling in the SCIENCE direction away from just what people think... because man! Am I tired of that! We need to get more people into fishing and keep the anglers we have – and more restrictions isn’t cutting it. We’ve tried that and it’s failed. We need to make it easier for people to just go fishing.

I'd appreciate any like-minded people helping out in July at public meetings, and also in July and August by getting their state rep or senator to support the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. We really need to kick the radical animal rights groups OUT of Michigan or we won't have to worry about as much hunting and fishing to debate in the future because their way is to take away those rights completely and they're spending millions in Michigan to do that! In fact, if you were thinking 'I haven't donated anything to GreatLakesBass.com this year’, even though I can always use money to cover costs and time, I'd prefer right now if you donated it to cover the cost of our huge 374,000+ petition drive and the upcoming lobby to make sure the law now gets passed - so we keep the authority to manage fish and game by science with the Natural Resources Commission and actually work out the best bass season we can all compromise on for our future various needs.

Once we make fix the NRC authority issue, get some type of year-round bass season (it won’t be year-round catch-and-keep) and people find out our bass fisheries once again don’t collapse, maybe we can move on to things that will really help particular bass populations like the habitat work where it’s needed, probably in many cases just some type of moderation on the weed killing. Habitat and forage are generally going to have more impact on bass populations in Michigan than what anglers do or don’t do. If you don’t believe that… well, you probably need to sit down and read some studies. Maybe talk to a few bass biology experts. Because it helps all of us when we’re more informed.
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jgip087

Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2014, 10:40:50 AM »

I am all for taking on weed killing as the next measure.  I believe that is the number 1 factor in fish population for many lakes, but we have little evidence to prove it without question.   

I also understand, support, and believe many of your points, but I still want more sound scientific evidence.  As a researcher, I believe why I still question is that I completely understand experiment/survey design and the MDNR just hasn't lived up to my standard of proof.  The MDNR should be differentiating regulations on lakes by matched pairs or stratifying and then studying over a period of 10-15-20 years how regulations impact the environment and fish population.  I know this is a LONG period of time, but it is truly the only way to say, definitively, that something works or does not work and it would set the standard for the entire nation.  This is a crazy example, but it's like  my stat professor in my PhD program said: "We don't know if smoking causes cancer.  I can say that it probably does, but we would need at least 40 babies to say for certain.  We would make 20 start smoking at birth and 20 would be forced to never smoke.  Then, we could say for certain if smoking causes lung cancer."  I am familiar with many studies, but they often don't meet my standard; the MDNR actually acknowledged their difficulty in conducting a definitive study during a 2004 report, excerpt below.

The MDNR could partner with tournament circuits for such studies and could monitor the post-release mortality rates after tournaments as well to help directors make an educated decision on how many fish we should hold in a livewell to help decrease the total bass mortality rate (harvest rate, natural mortality rate, and post-release mortality rate), which has been shown to range from 20-40%.  Here is a decent study on that topic: http://www.fecpl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2002/05/C-and-R-LMB-SMB-MS.pdf

As far as tournaments impacting bass populations, I absolutely have data.  I have seen multiple reports/studies, but that's where my above comments can assist. In 2009, the Maryland DNR counted more than 800 bass that died following an FLW event; similar results happened when BASS first visited Falcon.  Other studies have shown that the percentage range of post-release-mortality averages 5-20%, some studies are much higher.  We (tournament anglers) can have a substantial impact on this number and mitigate this outcome. I don't think this means we reduce the number of tournaments, but we need to take better care of our bass.   

http://www.seagrantfish.lsu.edu/resources/factsheets/catch_release.htm

http://www.fecpl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2002/05/C-and-R-LMB-SMB-MS.pdf

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2009/08/02/In-catch-and-release-angling-competitions-freed-bass-still-face-risk/stories/200908020169

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/documents/tournaments/TournamentMortalityCullingEffects.pdf



Excerpt from MDNR Fisheries Division (2004)

Challenges to solving critical uncertainties: an example.
 
First, we provide an example to illustrate the difficulty associated with addressing just a sub-component of the above questions, and hence why a single study is inadequate to address all of the most critical uncertainties.
 
Question: Is there any impact to adult bass abundance or size structure from fishing during the spawning season?
 
Background: This question has been recognized as crucially important for fisheries management for at least the last 15 years. The fact that it remains unanswered is not evidence that there is no effect, but rather evidence of the difficulty in conducting the research necessary to answer the question definitively.

The issue of size structure effects is particularly challenging. Trophy bass in Michigan, those individuals over 20 inches in length, are generally at least 10 years old. Therefore, a change in the abundance of trophy bass, resulting from decreased recruitment, could take at least 10 years to become apparent and a well designed study would need to extend over 15 to 20 years. That kind of time span alone presents serious difficulties for most natural resource agencies. In addition, the issue of variability among Michigan lakes is equally challenging. Given the diversity of habitats throughout Michigan, it is unlikely that the effects of fishing during the spawning season will be the same among all lakes. This situation calls for a study design that groups lakes that are ecologically similar. Then, within these groups, comparisons between treatment (nesting season fishing) and reference groups (closed season) would be conducted.
 
Study Design:
• stratify lakes by ecoregion (n=4 MI ecoregions)
• within each ecoregion, stratify by lake size (n=4 size classes, 16 ecoregion/size combinations)
• within each ecoregion/size group, stratify by dominant black bass species, n=32
ecoregion/size/species combinations)
• within each ecoregion/size/species group, stratify by treatment and reference lakes. For
simplicity, assume that 3 lakes per treatment group will provide sufficient statistical ability to
thoroughly evaluate. (N = 32*2*3 = 192 lakes)
 
Protocol: Fishing (for all species) during the study would be strictly controlled (ideally prohibited during the pre-treatment phase). At least 5 years of “pre” treatment, and 10 years of “treatment” data would be needed to evaluate the recruitment and size structure of the adult bass originating from the spawning events study. Ideally, we would want to conduct fall recruitment surveys on each lake, as well as intensive nest monitoring and adult bass surveys (summer night electrofishing) each year. Over 15 years this would correspond to 2880 surveys. Note: if we sought to compare the effects of different fishing levels (angler hours) or practices (e.g., CIR versus CDR), this design would at least double the number of lakes, and required surveys.  34
 
Given the daunting number of lakes required in the above design, alternative approaches could be adopted. These alternatives would be more constrained in the extent to which findings could be extrapolated to the population of MI lakes as a whole. But, additional studies could be designed that build on findings from the initial study. Alternative approaches could include a pond experiment, in which bass populations are established in experimental ponds, and assigned to treatments representing fishing pressure and practice. Alternatively, the first generation study could identify lakes with bass populations most likely to be affected by early season fishing. This situation would correspond to small lakes with high fishing pressure. The reasoning would be – if no effect is detected despite sufficiently rigorous research in these most sensitive systems, then we could conclude that fishing in all Michigan waters during the nesting season does not negatively affect black bass populations.
 
Challenges to solving critical uncertainties: generalities and recommended approach.
The above example illustrates the complexity and breadth of research required to address critical uncertainties regarding black bass fisheries. Some generalities can be drawn regarding the largest challenges to these efforts:
• A single research study will not suffice.
• The temporal scale of study must recognize the generation time of black bass.
• The spatial scale of study must recognize the diversity of habitats in Michigan and the likelihood
that these environmental factors will mediate the response of black bass to fishing.
• Better monitoring of black bass populations is needed, allowing us to truly assess the status of these populations, and the important fisheries that they support, on a statewide basis.
 
Rather than conclude that the task at hand is insurmountable, we suggest that our discussion illustrates the need for an adaptive approach to managing black bass populations in Michigan – an approach by which we integrate research and management, to “learn by doing”. Indeed, the difficulty in making predictions about long-term impacts of management actions on fish populations is one of the reasons that experts have endorsed adaptive management of natural resources (Lee1993). This approach is being increasingly applied in situations such as the Pacific Northwest salmon fisheries, the Colorado River, and the Florida Everglades.
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djkimmel

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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2014, 01:09:03 AM »

It's great to get on the old 'we still need more data' bandwagon. That has been one of the main weapons used to deny us more bass fishing for the 30 years I've been involved in the process with others. The major problem with that is, as you basically pointed out yourself whether you know it or not, that it's not going to happen. Thank goodness MDNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter has stated they aren't doing those studies and they aren't going to do those studies. Not much sense in wasting time or delaying the rest of us who are ready to move on based on studies that aren't going to happen.

So, I'm working with all the people who no longer want to wait for 'studies' that aren't going to happen. We already have all the data we've ever needed to provide more bass fishing opportunity IN Michigan. That's the right thing to do in our situation - provide the opportunity, and then make the changes and adjustments if and when needed. That is part of the Adaptive Management method that I was so glad to see MUCC keep in and adopt in our bass season resolution. Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter was fine with that. The 'wait because something might happen 5 - 10 - 20 years down the road' attitude has already cost us way too much lost fishing opportunity, fisheries management financing and lost Natural Resources Economy impact.

In fact, as I've mentioned, the MDNR proposed their own option that was an Adaptive Management-type proposal. The various user groups requested amendments to the initial MDNR proposal to an option that many of the groups can live with. I commend the MDNR for taking this kind of approach now. We need to make is easier for people to go fishing and have regulations that are a combination of enforceable, worth enforcing and that make sense and/or provide the best benefit verses conservation. I think we are finally doing that with bass and I'm very glad to have lived to see it. A few years back I wasn't sure...

Your points sound like you work for the old MDNR but they don't match reality and I prefer to live in reality. The MDNR doesn't have the personnel or budget to manage too many inland lakes individually. We have to work with what we have not with the 'in a perfect world' kind of thinking. People want to go fishing. Besides, we already have a 43 year old test of fishing spawning bass during the catch-and-keep season. It started in 1970 when the majority of the bass season was moved to Memorial Weekend. If 43 years of seeing our bass didn't all vanish due to extra fishing pressure on the spawn I don't think there will ever be enough years from someone who buys that kind of thinking. Like I said, I'm not waiting anymore. Too much at stake to keep messing around for no good reason.

PS: The MDNR is 'partnering' with tournament circuits. I need more of you to enter your tournament schedules on the online Fishing Tournaments App and then enter your tournament results. Your results will be private and you can get reports on all of your own results. Meanwhile, the MDNR will have a large amount of catch data they didn't have to spend a ton of their limited budget on to get bass population data from. I've been told much less than 200 tournaments have been entered so far with few results. I know we have a lot more bass tournaments this year.

None have been entered for the Northern part of Michigan and I know they are happening. Please try the app out. The best way to keep making progress is to work with what we have NOW and make the best of it. I did confirm I (nor anyone else) can enter a bunch of events for others. Whomever enters the event is the only person who can edit the event(s) and add results.

PPS: We don't have the same problems with real high water temps the Southern states have hardly ever. When we do, the period is usually short. There's not much excuse for the vast majority of bass tournaments in Michigan to continue to have a very high live release rate but it all starts with the handling and care by the ANGLER first because the bass is generally with the angler a lot longer than the tournament director/organization.

We are going to continue to re-emphasize the Keeping Bass Alive materials because if you use them you will keep more bass alive. We all have to take PERSONAL responsibility and knowing and keeping up on the information at the link above is a real good start. B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director and 31-year bass biology veteran Gene Gilliland and Dr. Hal Schramm are continuing to update the materials. Make sure you check out The Complete Guidebook for Tournament Anglers & Organizers (PDF).
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djkimmel

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Re: Bass Season SB 869 signed into law by Governor Snyder
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2014, 01:29:31 AM »

I guess I better add some points about serious flaws in your 'data.'

I'm talking about bass populations in lakes while you mention a few studies somewhere else (NOT Michigan or generally even Northern) that show the mortality rate for an event - an event where an unknown percentage of the bass are caught and a percentage of this subset of the entire bass population may have died due to bass tournament mortality.

I talk to Gene Gilliland about this topic often. I review all the studies too myself, and sometimes talk to the actual researchers who did them.

There are few reasons why the majority of the bass tournaments don't have the very high live release rate success that most well-run tournaments such as the Bassmasters has. In Michigan, there's almost no excuse because we rarely see the very high water temperatures they see often South of us in places like Maryland, Florida and Texas.

If anything, maybe we've had it so easy in Michigan most years and our bass fishing has improved so much that some people take it for granted. I task every one of you to personally NOT take our bass fishing and resource for granted, and to call out any tournament director you see who appears to be doing so whether it's a 10-boat club event or a 60-boat open. Peer pressure has had a lot to do with the entire bass fishing movement to the most popular fishing sport in America, and 2nd most popular in Michigan (after panfish).

If anyone says bass tournament anglers have a 40% mortality rate on a Michigan lake's bass population I say they are full of worm droppings. Seeing a bass tournament have a poor weigh in is a far cry from affecting a lake's bass population at that level considering all the bass that live in the lake, all the bass that are produced each year and all the bass that die each year for all the reasons they die (usually in Michigan not related to fishing mortality in a significant percentage compared to other factors).

Regardless, I fall back on - make clear when you are making claims about mortality and causes what you are really saying, and if you do start saying bass tournaments are causing X% of mortality on any specific lake's bass population you are going to be asked to produce the data FROM that lake that supports that claim. One exceptional infamous outlier bad weigh in in Maryland at one event by one group does not translate to 40% mortality on ANY Michigan lake. That's like saying an inch of rain last Thursday in Florida made Lake Lansing go up 6 inches today...

Gene told us Conservation Directors that Michigan joined Iowa in supporting a multi-state study on tournament fish mortality that will run several years under Dr. Hal Schramm thanks to interest by MDNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter. Jim has stated he is talking to the other Great Lakes region state fisheries chief about creating a similar study but based in our region on smallmouth bass for the future. That will be an interesting study.

I hope to see continued good work by the tournament groups that do a good job in Michigan, and I hope that any of you speak out if you see an angler or a tournament group that isn't doing a good job. Try constructive criticism first and send them to the Keeping Bass Alive links above. If that doesn't work, don't support them, and let me or any federation board member know who they are so we can apply peer pressure. Let's not say we care. Let's care.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 01:33:39 AM by djkimmel »
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.
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