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Author Topic: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation  (Read 4901 times)

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djkimmel

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MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« on: September 24, 2014, 01:02:56 AM »

Here is the PDF of the Michigan DNR Fisheries Division bass season recommendation they are presenting around 1pm or so October 9th to the Natural Resources Commission and MDNR Director Keith Creagh in Cadillac, Michigan.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/Fisheries_Informal_Bass_Recommendation_9.23.14_469329_7.pdf

This will be informational only and we are unsure at this time yet when action will be taken due to external issues being reviewed. We will be presenting our points, along with other persons, on the Michigan bass season during the public appearance part of the same meeting as if it is business as usual since we don't know what is going to occur yet in the timeline.

We are still on track to have some kind of change in place for the 2015 fishing calendar year (2015 MDNR Fishing Guide) that begins April 1, 2015, but we may not be able to start on April 1. More coming on that later.

For now, please review the document. Here is the latest agenda for the October 9 NRC meeting in Cadillac. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/October_Agenda_469238_7.pdf

If you want to have an impact on the future Michigan bass season this is a key time in the process. If you want a good result you're going to have to put some work into it.
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 03:36:19 PM »

In case you're one of those people who doesn't like details here is the actual MDNR Fisheries Division Recommendation:

After reviewing all of the biological, social, and economic information, Fisheries Division is proposing the following regulation recommendation which falls between options B and C: provide for CIR bass fishing all year, statewide (unless otherwise closed to fishing) and a modification to the harvest season on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers, to open the first Saturday in June which would align with the muskellunge opener on Lake St. Clair. This modification will expand bass fishing opportunities for all anglers and allow them to engage in CIR fishing for bass earlier in the year than currently allowed and allow for two weeks additional harvest on Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 03:40:31 PM by djkimmel »
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djkimmel

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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 03:45:35 PM »

i.e. Since there is very little 'harvest' going on for bass in Michigan anyway the key here is that 'harvest' means the regular open season, the season where those who want to can have bass tournaments with catch-and-delayed-release (regular bass tournaments) weigh ins.

This MDNR Fisheries Division bass season recommendation does extend the catch-and-immediate-release bass season back to January 1 statewide, but provides only 2 additional weeks of regular bass tournament fishing on one water body system for the entire state - St. Clair River-Lake St. Clair-Detroit River - aligning the bass season there with one of the most restricted fish on the lake - muskie, instead of aligning it with bass in the rest of the state on Memorial weekend. There is no other additional bass tournament opportunity being offered in the MDNR Fisheries Division recommendation.

Pike and walleye on the St. Clair system are open to harvest all year. Walleye are the most targeted fish on St. Clair with perch 2nd and bass 3rd, and bass having a 93% voluntary release rate on Lake St. Clair according to the MDNR.
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jgip087

Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 05:52:11 PM »

I don't see how this will add much economic impact outside of the St. Clair area.  The DNR is well aware that many people already immediately catch-and-release bass prior to the last Saturday in April. Expanding the inland bass season to align with pike, walleye, etc. made the most sense, economically, to me.
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 07:29:42 PM »

We are still going to work hard for that option because we have been provided no negative information that shows we shouldn't. Our bass biology expert consultants have a lot less uncertainty and worry about risk because the risk is minimal (as the MDNR Fisheries Division itself has stated).
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 10:59:04 PM »

Anyone else have any comments they'd like to share? I'm working on a response for Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation, but we can have a response too. Or ANY of you can have an individual response...?

I can also assume (and anyone who reads this thread) if no one else responds that everyone else is satisfied with the MDNR Fisheries Division recommendation? If that is not a good assumption, please let me know. Thanks.
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dartag

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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 06:27:29 AM »

The DNR option looks good to me.  As someone who lives on a popular inland lake I see bass boats out fishing as soon as the ice is off.  Sometimes even breaking ice to get out there.  At that time of year there is no spawning or much shallow activity going on. 


Thanks for the hard work.

Steve Smith
Commerce, Mi
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Kal-Kevin

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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 06:41:16 AM »

Now I guess I'm missing something, so what I read here is they will let us run tournaments as long as every thing goes back in the lake after weigh-in, right? What are we getting as far as the season for tournaments?
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fishstick

Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 07:29:33 AM »

It seems they are still really stuck on the pike, walleye, and musky...I would think aligning the harvest season for bass with the pike/walleye opener would also simplify regulations.

One thing that really bothers me in this "if CIR is expanded, should we entertain mitigating the potential negative impacts of CIR fishing on nesting bass by delaying the harvest season?"

While it's not ideal I can at least live with year round CIR for now, but in no way should delaying the start of harvest season ever be on option.

Also I don't want to wait until 2016 for further evaluation from BRET. It doesn't make any sense to wait based on the first evaluation from BRET, other research out there, and the results from the survey that was sent out.

Thanks for the hard work Dan!

1javelin

Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 08:44:46 PM »

I don't understand where all the science and research being done that shows 'no negative impact due to fishing during the spawn' has been lost at.  So, we can CIR all year now, but the economic and science based research showing an open season would have a positive economic impact and have no significant reduction in recruitment has been lightly brushed aside?  I guess get what we can for now, go for more later, but this is still a play on power.

1jav
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2014, 09:26:04 AM »

i'm in the process of drafting a letter and am hoping to make the meeting on the 9th

Given what has already been said about alignment with existing seasons and what trivial impact "harvest" actually has to bass i would also like to add the following -

As i see it, the DNR was granted the opportunity to do their job with the recent legislation without interference. While i understand the need for public discourse in government, politics should be held at arms length when dealing with natural resources. The DNR has 2 requirements - promote enrollment and opportunity and scientifically manage resources to responsibly satisfy those goals. It's clear that from multiple fronts, there is no consensus on what a "preferred" season would look like. What is also clear is that there is no scientific basis for the ultra-conservative option of simply extending the C/R season. While it was gracious of the DNR and NRC to solicit public opinion, the public (myself included) are neither qualified nor resistant to outside influences (anti-hunting groups, politicians, special interests, commercial enterprise propaganda, etc) to make this decision for the DNR.  In fact, the only outstanding item from the survey that should any kind of consensus was that people do trust the DNR to make sound management decisions.

Given this, i would implore the DNR and NRC to tackle the issue in black and white terms. Frankly speaking, the science supports a much more liberal harvest season than what was even offered. They have been empowered by the state and have the opportunity to change our regulations for the better. While the decision may not be popular it doesn't mean its not the right course of action. Leadership stems from expertise and confidence, not from trying to make everyone happy. Anyone who has ever attempted the latter understands it is an exercise in futility.

We need only look back a few years to the failed Dove bill for a prime example of how outside sources and public opinion can interfere with what should have been a "no-brainer" regulation.
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djkimmel

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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2014, 09:39:32 AM »

Now I guess I'm missing something, so what I read here is they will let us run tournaments as long as every thing goes back in the lake after weigh-in, right? What are we getting as far as the season for tournaments?

Kal-Kevin the ONLY additional regular bass tournament opportunity in the MDNR Fisheries Division (FD) recommendation is 2 additional weeks on St. Clair River - Lake St. Clair - Detroit River (SCS). They are recommending moving the SCS opener forward 2 weeks from the present 3rd Saturday in June to 1st Saturday in June to align with the restrictive muskie opener.

There will be no other change for bass tournaments in the MDNR FD recommendation. The rest of the new fishing opportunity is catch-and-immediate-release only. You could run paper tournaments. No remote weigh in.

If that is not acceptable to you I suggest you and/or your club prepare comments on that to send to the Natural Resources Commission and the MDNR Director. I will put up a sample letter by Monday. I have to work most of today away from computers.

I know this is obvious but catch-and-immediate-release means you let the bass go as soon as you catch it right where you caught it. You can't put the bass in your livewell, keep or hold it for any length of time.
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2014, 10:22:32 AM »

I had a Great meeting yesterday with MUCC. We are moving forward with a clear call to use science, not bias, prejudice, lack of leadership or appeasement to someone who doesn't actually positively impact the MDNR FD budget in any significant way. MUCC supports us completely and we are lining up the other groups who do too.

Since the MDNR FD has said:
 ALL options represent minimal risk AND;
 They have not provided any science against why we shouldn't move forward with any of the options AND;
 They have reported to the Senate and the House that more bass fishing and more bass tournaments would be good for Michigan AND;
 They have said they are NOT planning on doing any follow up studies on bass fishing effect on the bass populations AND;\
 They have said a study of all of our various bass lakes would be too complex, expensive and time-consuming to attempt AND;
 They unilaterally reduced the number of MDNR public access sites that require a bass tournament in 2007 from ALL to ONLY 39 (so were is the social concern of more bass tournaments?) AND;
 Our present Michigan bass season has allowed the choice of harvest bass fishing during all or most of the Michigan bass spawn for 43 years (since 1970) with no evidence of harm to bass populations seen or shown AND;
 We have MUCC policy requesting the MDNR FD to use Adaptive Management to solve questions from issues they say are too complex to study as the MDNR Wildlife Division has already done along with many other programs including the Florida bass plan and the national waterfoul management plan AND;
 They continue to show the great majority of bass anglers voluntarily release most or all of their keeper bass;
The only way we can realistically settle these claimed questions of uncertainty and risk at this point is to learn by doing - Adaptive Management. We've had plenty of time with the season change the MDNR FD did forward to Memorial weekend way back in 1970, then the catch-and-release test season way back in 1988 and now 8 full seasons under the statewide catch-and-release bass season, to notice any significant negative population effects (our national bass biology experts are telling us this). We should choose Option 4/D to meet their goal of providing more fishing opportunity and more outreach to warmwater anglers, and to recognize that bass anglers are now paying $10 more per year for the same amount of fishing and attention from the MDNR FD - basically subsidizing the other gamefish that need more resources in work and money from the MDNR.

With no planned study anyway there's no need for another years-long delay by going far short of the bass fishing opportunity equal or close to the opportunity walleye, pike, trout, salmon and muskie anglers enjoy even though most of those fish are HARVEST fish while bass are voluntarily a catch-and-release fish. We have lost way too much fishing opportunity, quality of life and economic benefit to the State of Michigan AND the MDNR Fisheries Division budget by dragging this action out over 30 years now.

There was actually no attempt to ask us to reach a consensus during the most recent two Warmwater Resources Steering Committee meetings. I will say there is a clear majority supporting Option 4/D and the minutes that are publicly available online demonstrate that.

There was also a clear majority of persons in the surveys who supported Option 4/D - 54 - 58% supported version 30-some percent opposed. We elect most of our government every election with numbers closer than that. Just because another survey option finished higher doesn't change that the option that provides the most new opportunity also had a majority.

People were allowed to mark all 4 options separately in the surveys based on a high to low score so there was NO way to reach a clear consensus the way the survey was set up. Unless you had the questions worded so people so people had to rank the actual options directly against each other you can't reach a consensus on them through the survey. That is why none of the results add up to 100%. Someone could, and literally did, pick more than one option as an option they strongly support. To talk about consensus or not consensus from a survey worded like the online and mailed survey is not appropriate, accurate or helpful considering how the questions were worded.

The LEAST opportunity change option and the MOST opportunity change option finished 1st and 2nd so what does that say about consensus and what people think?
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Kal-Kevin

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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2014, 07:00:57 PM »

So all our work at getting thing in favor of the DNR was for nothing, they now want to go back to the old boys way of doing things! The longer season for some waters are only a here this is what we think of you now that we got what we want from you!

Sorry for being peey, I thought they where on our side when this all got started, maybe some day in twenty or thirty years we will get a long bass season for us that fish inland lakes.
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2014, 12:18:22 AM »

THESE IS MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS, AND NOT THE OPINION OR POLICY OF EITHER MICHIGAN B.A.S.S. NATION OR THE BASS FEDERATION OF MICHIGAN

Some of the MDNR Fisheries Division are on our side. Some of them actually want to see the same or similar change we would like to see. Just not enough of them yet apparently. We were recently told we wouldn't have to wait so long again 'certainly not 10 more years, maybe only 7.'

Frankly, that's right. We aren't going to wait that long. We are going to start something a lot better and new in 7 or 8 months, not years. We have more support from more people, groups and state government (CLOUT) than we have ever had. The only group that matters that we don't have strong support from is the MDNR Fisheries Division. They say that it isn't accurate to say they don't support us but semantics aren't real important to me right now. Change is important. The change we've heard about and been promised. I will say when I directly asked the Chief if the MDNR Fisheries Division opposed us or would oppose either of our original option or the new and better bass fishing opportunity Option 4/D he said they were not opposed, they just couldn't recommend them. As I say, at this points, semantics aren't real important to me. Change and fixing the broke bass season are important.

We haven't gotten our way completely in the past. It's their turn to not get their way. We were hoping for more leadership at this point but they don't appear to be ready for that yet in Fisheries Division. So we'll just have to provide the leadership along with our friends and partners who are tired of the same old thing the same old way too.

Not sure why that isn't clear and apparent to everyone but like I always say change is tough for some people. You can count on it happening anyway because change doesn't care. It just happens, and it's going to happen this time too. We aren't settling for so little gain from so much work with the amount of support we have from major groups like MUCC, and the fantastic support from the people who hold the MDNR purse strings - our State Legislature. They are expecting more tournaments and it wasn't just 2 extra weeks on Lake St. Clair we've been talking about all year either with them and other leaders.

Time to drag the foot-draggers into the 21st Century so we can join the other 45 states who don't keep saying nonsense like 'give it some more time,' 'please be patient.' 30 years is long enough. According to our real bass biology expert consultants, 7 years is long enough. We're done waiting. Expect some interesting things to happen over the next month including some that won't appear directly related to bass fishing but I assure you everything happening right now in hunting and fishing for Michigan is related and intertwined.

And please don't stop doing anything you've been doing to help. We need to keep it all up right up to the moment we're done because the foot-draggers are going to keep dragging, thinking they still have a chance to keep bass tournaments and angler-choice restricted and limited, right to the very end. That's what foot-draggers (and biased, prejudice people) do. Not everyone has a problem with full boat ramps or more bass tournaments. Plenty of important people want exactly that!

There have been many great things to come out of our 3rd attempt at fixing our broke Michigan bass season but we expect 1 final, critical, it's-about-time, major change to come partly from it yet. It will be fantastic for the real future of fishing in Michigan, finally leading to real scientific management that includes all anglers as a part of the process. It has taken a great deal of work by some smart people to get to the point it can now happen over this next year.

I'm not just talking about bass fishing either because this has always been about changing 'the system' so the system works. This has always been about real wise use of our resources, and making it easier for people to just go fishing and enjoy their fishing day regardless of what legal method is their preference barring any science that proves they can't do so (all this talk about 'risk,' 'uncertainty' and what 'might' happen is part of the stuff that needs to be fixed). All the anglers groups (and hunter groups too) working together towards what's best for the future of Michigan Natural Resources has always been the target and ultimate goal because that is what the future of hunting and fishing need, what it has always needed for as long as I can remember. Even us 'greedy,' 'selfish' 'bass tournament' anglers are smart enough to know that!

Fixing the broken bass season is just one very important multi-hundred million dollars per year part of it. It's broke and it's been broke for a looooonnggg time, primarily for the simple reason that some people don't like bass tournaments and didn't want to go along with anything that might lead to more. It's a shame that decades of bass fishing and economic opportunity have been lost almost purely due to bias and prejudice, due to people who think it's okay to like some anglers and dislike or discount some others.

Thankfully, all that is about to end. As long as we all stick together and each do a little more work over the next month or two  (letters, phone call, email, maybe show up or speak at a meeting) we will fix the broken bass season despite the fake and wasteful roadblocks thrown in our way (and by 'all' I'm not just talking about bass tournament anglers or bass anglers - like I said - we have lots of friends this time). People were given a chance to choose the change and some didn't take it. That is unfortunate, but it just means they won't look so much like leaders in the next few seasons unless they change their tunes hard and fast.

That's their problem not your's or mine. The tune's already been changed. They just apparently suffer from some tone deafness. For their sake, I hope they start picking up on the new tune pretty darn quick because they're going to find out soon just how much the tune has changed and I'm not just talking about the bass season. Having more of them come around faster will be good for us almost as much as it will be good for them. Because we really do all need to work together for real, not just in words or extra politeness.

Stay tuned and keep telling your friends that they can have more bass fishing including fishing the way they prefer statewide because common sense, decency and unbiased scientific management can win out, especially if enough people want it now.

If you, or anyone you know, can make that October 9 NRC afternoon meeting in Cadillac, please do. You don't have to speak. You can turn in written comments. You can show support. Wear your tournament shirt. Wear some patches. Bring some youth anglers with you. Show the people who need it what good things come from more fishing of all kinds. The main message is, we've waited long enough and we're not waiting any longer. We've been promised more outreach and change to more openness and transparency, and we actually expect it. We're paying $10 more per year for the same thing we got the year (even more for those of you who are non-residents) before while we all know bass angler license money is going to subsidize some of the other fishing that needs more or gets more funding. We want more bass fishing and we want it to be fair and generous unless and until they can PROVE without a doubt that we can't have it.

That's the message. We actually expect change now and we expect to get it now. Not 6 to 10 more years from now. Or 6 to 10 more years from then. Now. We're done waiting for them to catch up. They can't be leaders if they're operating like it is still the 1950s. They can't be leaders by just saying they're leaders. Not as long as they treat some anglers as if they have less value than others. We're done waiting. Catch up fast, or get left behind. Not going to be much other choice pretty darn soon. Frankly, I'd still rather have most of them catch up fast than be left behind, but it's not up to me. It's their choice.
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2014, 12:34:00 AM »

If you don't want to read all that... fine. Read this: we still have a little more work to do. If we do it, we will come out of this the way we should have come out of this almost 25 years ago.

Watch for my post Monday about what and who to write. If you can, you owe it to your future bass fishing to come to the afternoon October 9 meeting in Cadillac to show support. Come as you are. Bring some youth with you if you can. You don't have to speak but be visible and accounted for.

The MDNR Legislative spokesperson and the Fisheries Chief both told our State Legislators twice this year that MORE bass fishing and MORE bass tournaments would be good for Michigan. None of us were expecting that meant only 2 extra weeks on Lake St. Clair. I guarantee none of the Legislators are thinking that is what was meant.

There is ZERO scientific evidence that proves we can't have Option 4/D - year-round catch-and-release bass fishing with the 'harvest' season Lower Peninsula that last Saturday in April until December 31, or May 15 until December 31 for the Upper Peninsula. We want scientific management, not a popularity contest or anti-hunter/angler like emotional, social management. Remember that and keep demanding it.

The NRC was formed way back in 1922 so emotional, social issues would not mess up the management of our natural resources. Remember that. Anyone who doesn't understand why is a good example of why we had to severely battle the anti-hunters again this year. We will keep having to do so as long as all hunters, anglers and MDNR persons are not on the same page with this. Help them get on the same page. Thanks!
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2014, 06:42:27 AM »

I'm right there with you Dan, I just got mad at the system of the old way is fine thinking. I'll see what can be done to be at the meetings but no promises at this time with work and everything else in my life right now who knows. As far as letter writing you give me what to say and who to call and I'm on it. Once I know those things I'll be on everyone I know to get what we need done, done, to change those ideas of the old way is fine thinking.

Thanks for keeping a level head when others lose theirs
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Re: MDNR Fisheries Division Bass Season Recommendation
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2014, 09:28:23 AM »

Dan,

Thanks for all your work on this issue.  I wish I could have been more of a help on this issue the past few weeks, but I am back and available, so please let me know if there is anything I can do from here on out.
The one thing that I can't understand with the MDNR proposal is that they appear to be approaching this issues as if any decision they make can't be reversed.  As I had stated at the meeting they held in Detroit, why not just try the adjusted season for a few years and see what happens.  They could even put in a "Sunset provision" that requires MDNR action after three or five years to either make the changes permanent or have the regulation revert back to the way they were.  The MDNR even stated at that meeting that it only takes a few bass per acre to not only sustain, but to actually grow the population.  I think they have forgot this fact when they put their proposal together. I truly believe that none of the previous proposals will have a catastrophic effect on bass populations, so why not try it out, learn from it, and adjust as we go if needed.  Even if by some strange chance they find that too many bass are being harvested or yanked off their beds (and not returning) causing a dip in the population, the worst that will happen will be a few slower than average seasons as the population rebounds.  But even that is such a slim chance.
I really hope that they decide to view this from a scientific point only and but aside all of the other "reasons" they have been using.
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