Michigan United Conservation Club delegates vote Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation bass season resolution as organization policy

Sunday, June 22, 2014 the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) state convention delegates voted greater than the needed two-thirds majority to adopt the Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation (MBN) bass season proposal resolution as official policy. The only change from the original resolution submitted through District 20 in March was a minor friendly amendment suggested by Past-President Paul Rose to the adaptive management section.

This means MUCC staff can now fully support and assist MBN with adoption of their Michigan bass season proposal they turned in to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Warmwater Resources Steering Committee (WRSC) last June. The MUCC policy now also includes the addition of asking the MDNR and the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to consider using Adaptive Management methods for bass management considering the wide diversity of water types we are fortunate to have in our great state.

MUCC staff will now poll the NRC Commissioners individually on their positions and feelings on the MBN bass season proposal that will soon be among four (4) options going to the public in July at meetings around the state and in online surveys before the final chosen bass season option goes before the NRC for a possible new Fisheries Order this fall.

During the MUCC Convention Leadership Training held June 19 – 22 at the MDNR RAM Center near Higgins Lake, State Representative Bruce R. Rendon (R-District 103), Senator John Moolenaar (R-District 36) and NRC Vice Chairman John Matonich all spoke favorably of the work to provide more bass fishing opportunity, and how important bass fishing is to Michigan’s Natural Resource economy.

The goal of the MBN and MUCC is to have a new bass season in place for the 2015 season so it can be printed in the 2015-2016 Michigan Fishing Guide. A new guide will not be printed until 2017, which is why we are working with a shorter timeline this time to make it into the 2015 guide.

MBN Conservation Director Dan Kimmel spoke for a few minutes in support of the bass season resolution before the MUCC delegates. A delegate from the Lake St. Clair Walleye Association also spoke saying his group fully supported our entire bass season resolution. An amendment was made by a delegate representing the MUCC Fisheries Committee to remove the second resolve statement from the original resolution having to do with asking the MDNR and NRC to use Adaptive Management methods for bass.

The amendment appeared to have wide support but Kimmel was allowed two additional minutes to address why MBN did not support the amendment, and why we feel the extra language is important to the future of bass management in Michigan. Thanks to the strong support and input from MDNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter, who attended Friday night and Saturday but was not able to stay Sunday, Kimmel was able to share that Dexter did not have any issues with feeling MUCC was telling the MDNR Fisheries Division how to do their job and that Adaptive Management is a possibly valuable management tool to consider for management of a species as widely distributed as Michigan largemouth and smallmouth bass are.

After this additional discussion and a minor friendly language amendment suggestion made by Past-President Paul Rose that Kimmel said MBN would accept, the amendment to remove the Adaptive Management section of the bass season resolution was defeated soundly. The minor friendly amendment was approved by the majority followed by a successful vote on the amended resolution. The Michigan Bass Season Change resolution (PDF copy) was ruled passed by voice vote with a greater than 2/3 margin.

MUCC support is a major step in any outdoors action in Michigan. With over 250 affiliated fishing, hunting, outdoors clubs and conservation associations, and more than 42,000 members MUCC is the largest state-specific conservation organization in the country. The Michigan United Conservation Clubs has been the watchdog for Michigan’s natural resources and our outdoor heritage since 1937 defending the right to hunt, fish and trap.

In conjunction with the Conservation Coalition and Citizen’s for Professional Wildlife Management (CPWM), MUCC is the most effective and necessary channel to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage. If you are not already a member please join MUCC. If you are a member of a club, please consider affiliating with MUCC. Our voice is magnified exponentially as part of a larger coalition of outdoors persons and conservationists!

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