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MDNR Public Meetings - New Tournament Permit Process review

Started by djkimmel, December 04, 2006, 11:41:27 PM

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djkimmel

Here's our chance to have some input in the process. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks & Recreation Division is holding 3 public meetings for input from anglers on a proposed new tournament permit process.

Here's a draft copy of the <<proposed policy>> (you need Microsoft Word to read - let me know if you need another version - this is the only one available right now).

1. Wolf Lake Hatchery, Mattawan, December 7th, 6-8 PM **THIS LOCATION/DATE ONLY CANCELED** TO BE RESCHEDULED IN A WEEK OR SO

2. Eddy Center, Waterloo Rec Area, December 12th, 3-5 PM

3. Gander Mountain, Novi, December 20th, 6-8 PM
See the calendar for more details on each particular meeting.

If you can't make the meetings and have comments, please get them to me if you would like me to pass them along, or you can email the process lead Jason Fleming, MDNR Parks & Rec Div at FLEMINJA@michigan.gov or mail comments to Jason Fleming, 530 W Allegan, 3rd Floor Mason Building, Lansing, MI 48933.

An important thing to consider when reviewing this document is that the MDNR is proposing to only require permits on a tiny number of high-use lakes. The final list is not done yet, but here are some likely candidates at this time - there may be a few more lakes added:

County
Allegan
Barry
Barry
Branch
Branch
Calhoun
Calhoun
Cass
Cass
Cass
Gladwin
Ionia
Jackson
Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo
Livingston
Livingston
Livingston
Macomb
Macomb
Macomb
Mecosta
Mecosta
Monroe
Monroe
Monroe
Monroe
St. Clair
St. Joseph
St. Joseph
St. Joseph
Van Buren
Washtenaw
Washtenaw
Body of Water
Baseline
Thornapple
Jordan
George
Union
Goguac
Duck
Diamond
Fish
Corey
Wixom
Morrison
Michigan  Center
Austin
Long (Portage)
Whitmore
Chemung
Woodland
Clinton River Cut Off
Selfridge
Harley Ensign
Chippewa
Mecosta
Bolles Harbor
Dixie
Halfway Creek
Sterling St.Pk.
Fair Haven
Klinger
Portage
Palmer
Saddle
Half Moon
Portage
Number
03-012
08-013
08-002
12-008
12-003
13-002
13-005
14-006
14-001
14-004
26-008
34-001
38-001
39-014
39-003
47-004
47-001
47-003
50-006
50-003
50-001
54-003
54-001
58-010
58-007
58-006
58-008
74-002
75-002
75-017
75-008
80-004
81-002
81-020
Admin.
Allegan
Allegan
Ionia
Jackson
Jackson
Allegan
Jackson
Warren Dunes
Warren Dunes
Warren Dunes
Clare
Ionia
Jackson
Allegan
Allegan
Island Lake
Island Lake
Island Lake
Mount Clemens
Mount Clemens
Mount Clemens
Clare
Clare
Sterling
Sterling
Sterling
Sterling
Mount Clemens
Warren Dunes
Warren Dunes
Warren Dunes
Allegan
Pinckney RA
Pinckney RA

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 The Bass Federation of Michigan.

Roy Randolph

Well I see some good changes and some bad ones

Good- Green
Bad- Red

First is the change to no longer require permits on the smaller lakes this is a good & bad thing. GOOD - That small clubs will no longer have to put out monies for permits BAD - Because I can see a problem of clubs doubling up on a dates. It states they will do a "Hold" process where you can call in and they will mark a calendar for you and inform any other club that calls you are going to be there on that date, but it wont be long before clubs don't bother to call knowing they don't need a permit. If this becomes a problem it will also create more discontent with lake riparian's and the public, not to mention club vs. club.
Second - The change to allow 80% use of the parking spaces for any tournament is a very good thing (Thank You)

Third - No permit application will be accepted before January 1st AND no more the 4 permits more then a month prior to the event (WTH!) this is absolutely a colossal mistake. We have been asking for a change to allow us to pull permits at least by November the year before so groups can print schedules and advertise dates. How in the world is this a good thing? And how would it hurt the DNR if they did allow us to pull permits earlier?

Forth - I see they removed the max allowed permits (12) for one group between Memorial Day to Labor Day as well as allowing permits on the free fishing weekends (VERY NICE THANK YOU)

Fifth - I see mention of E-Mailing applications, I never knew this was an option add to this I see mention of a future "Fishing Tournament Data Base" on the Web (YES!) this would be a major advantage to all, please do all that you can to bring this to fruition as soon as possible.

Sixth - And the Rub - Lakes that do require permits will now cost $25 for closed tournaments (Members only 30 boats or less) and $100 for Open Tournaments (open to members and/or public any number of boat) Now they showed a loss of $0.92 per permit in the past and is the reason they no longer want to issue permits for small lakes. (So they can make it cost effective) So why the increase in fees? They said themselves that the average closed tournament is 15 boats or less why hit them for the MAX fee? And for open tournaments the average (my math) is about 45 to 55 boats yet an increase of about $50 per permit. This is double dipping if you ask me unless they could provide the online database for us to access this year. (Most would be willing to pay the fee if it went for this)

Next I see some statements that still show the DNR's distain for us and others I need to question.

First They say - "The Department began issuing permits in the 1990's due to concerns over significant use of access sites and squabbling among tournament groups over scheduling conflicts and parking availability. Prior to 1999, in most situations, local administrative units issued permits for fishing tournaments at no cost" (Squabbling?) wow. Next I was pulling both "Required permits" - land use & marine use in the 1980's

2nd They say "Most of the closed tournaments indicate the average number of participants at fifteen boats. Even though there is documentation demonstrating the number participants as higher then originally approved" Then state that "The current rules are unenforceable at many locations. Compliance is hard to determine, especially if weigh-ins are located off site." I'd like to know how it was determined that the number of boats was higher then the permit allowed (Documentation please)

3rd - They say "Riparian associations claim that there may be too many organized tournaments on certain bodies of water" Ever check on the number of boats parked on a single piece of lake front property? There's a law you know and I've never seen it enforced!

4th They say "Most importantly, there is a lack of monitoring and enforcement from PRD, LED and local law enforcement agencies. This creates a fallible process, especially when LED is responsible for on-water activities through their own Marine Special Use Permit" The marine use permit was dropped in the 1990's no tournament has had to apply for one since to my knowledge. Does this mean the marine use permit should be pulled or will be required in the future? And how much will that cost?

All in All there are some good changes here and I hope we can work to change the others. Add to that I would like to see an attitude change in both the DNR and the tournament organizations towards each other.
Help a handicapped angler live his dream!

Roy Randolph

The only thing I think we can?t live with would be the rule change about when you can pull permits, this has to be changed!

Scenario ? you have a weeknight group (Group A) fishing at least 5 or more tournaments on a ?Permit Required Lake? come January 1st they can only pull 4 permits for these dates (Not all the dates) because all of the tournaments will be more then a month away due to the fact the first tournament is 5 months away. Now here comes Yada Yada group and for some reason they decide their first 4 permits they want to pull are on the same dates as group A?s 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th dates. This now requires group A to reschedule 4 events spend more money informing people of the change and may force group A to pick dates that a third group may had scheduled for events. Add to this a forth group could schedule their first 4 on the rest of group A?s dates. I see nothing but Bad times ahead if this is allowed.

I?ve asked the DNR the following question many times;

Why couldn?t we pull permits in November the year prior? (Perfect time for Tour. Groups) you still have to do the same work at the same cost yet, you will receive the revenue months sooner.

The only answer I got was that this would screw up their financial records because they get the money in the wrong fiscal year. I have never heard any company, group or organization complain that they are getting cash flow to early!

And now the DNR wont get the revenue for these permits till later in the year rather then right at the fist of the year. I would think they would want the money in their hands as soon as possible.

This is going to cause a major rift and more problems between organizations then we have ever had (I?m sure this isn?t what the DNR had in mind ::) )

My suggestion is that any angler that wants to fish even one tournament should go to these meetings and let them know this has to change!
Help a handicapped angler live his dream!

Roy Randolph

I just had a very interesting phone call from Jason Fleming of the DNR

First let me say that Jason is a very nice guy and open minded to our needs a surprising change from what I?m use to and a ?Model? for all other divisions of the DNR

I commended him on most of the proposed changes as they will definitely make our tournament experience easier and more pleasurable. Jason and I covered many issue and cleared up a couple of things and I felt the need to pass this on.

First the issue of the number of permits you can pull (My main concern) the number ?4? is open for change and will be addressed at the meetings and he clarified this to be only for the same permit required body of water. So if you run a weeknight series on a multitude of lakes this does not affect you. I suggested that the number be at least 6 for the same body of water just due to the fact that most weekend series have an average of 6 tournaments and he was very open to the idea. We also came to an agreement that there is a need to make exception to this rule for access sites on such lakes as St. Clair where weeknight tournaments of 10 to 25 boats have little or no impact.

Next we discussed the permit fees and he saw my point of view on these small weeknight events on again ?permit required bodies of water? as a problem when you consider a tournament of this type will have on average 15 to 20 boats and in the past paid $50 dollars for a permit they will now have to pay $100 for and would on average cut their meager profit margin by half.

He also told me that in future years the starting date for applying for permits could and should be the first week in November. He stated that this is the start of the department?s fiscal year and would be a no brainer. (OUTSTANDING) January 1st this season is due to time constraints.

Then we talked about the future ?Online Fishing Database? and a possible online permit process and I was thrilled to hear his he was all for this, it sound like we have turned a corner and are headed in a new direction.

We covered a couple of issues outside the scope of these changes and I was really pleased to see the willingness to cooperate in joint ventures such as possibly building live release stations A.K.A. release tubs for us to have available on site allowing us to release fish back into the water easier and in a more friendlier environment for the fish.

I must admit I came away feeling good about the issues and think if we can make a good showing at the meetings and express or concerns they will listen and adapt.
Help a handicapped angler live his dream!

djkimmel

Roy - I think we have a number of positive opportunities coming our way between bass tournament organizations and the MDNR. I'm reviewing and/or working on three other issues right now that all look and sound very promising. And we're just getting going...

I hope we make the most of these opportunities and enough of us get involved in a positive and open manner to improve things for everyone.

More coming. Stay tuned :)

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 The Bass Federation of Michigan.

Roy Randolph

I'm glad to hear it!

One thing I mentioned to him was to put you on any committee he will have that pertains to bass fishing and he said that?s already done! This way we can be assured to have capable representation.

We all know you have plenty of time to spare  ;D
Help a handicapped angler live his dream!

djkimmel

That's a good one!!! (I know who to call as my stand in when I can't make it... ;D)

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 The Bass Federation of Michigan.

Roy Randolph

Help a handicapped angler live his dream!

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