web analytics

Tag Archive | "anglers"

Anglers no longer required to keep baitfish receipts


The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would like to inform anglers about new viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) regulations that went into effect Thursday, Jan. 9. The changes result in simpler regulations for anglers who purchase and use minnows as bait by removing the retail sales receipt provision.

Anglers will now no longer be required to possess their bait receipts while fishing and retail minnow sellers will no longer be required to provide anglers with detailed receipts for minnows.

VHS is a serious viral disease that has spread into the Great Lakes region and caused large-scale fish kills. VHS was first identified in the Great Lakes in 2005 and has caused mortalities in a number of fish species in the Michigan waters of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair and Detroit rivers, Lake Erie, and inland in Budd Lake near Harrison and Base Line Lake near Pinckney. It has also been found in Lake Michigan waters of Wisconsin.

The DNR actively monitors for VHS throughout the year and as other areas are identified positive for VHS, they will be listed online at www.michigan.gov/vhs.

Receipts were previously used for educational and enforcement purposes to direct anglers to places where their bait could be used based on purchase location and whether or not it was certified as disease-free.

VHS regulations have been in effect for several years and, after careful review, the DNR determined the retail receipt provision could be removed because anglers are more knowledgeable about the risks associated with baitfish use.

There is no known treatment for VHS, so preventing the spread of disease is the best way to protect Michigan’s fish. Anglers can help prevent the spread of VHS by keeping the following tips in mind when using baitfish:

Learn to identify the species of baitfish you are using. Species known to be susceptible to VHS and typically used as live bait include emerald shiners, spottail shiners and white suckers. Other species occasionally used as bait that are susceptible to VHS include bluntnose minnows, trout perch, gizzard shad, shorthead redhorse and silver redhorse.

Request that your local bait store sell certified disease-free baitfish.

Purchase and use only certified disease-free baitfish.

Never move live fish between bodies of water.

Disinfect your bait bucket, livewells and bilges between uses with a bleach solution (half-cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water) or allow equipment to dry thoroughly before using in a different body of water.

Properly dispose of all bait containers including worms and soil, crayfish and minnows in a trash receptacle.

Protecting Michigan’s world-class water resources is everyone’s responsibility for now and future generations. All boaters need to drain their livewell(s) and bilge of their boat upon leaving the waterbody because it’s the law.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

Weekly Fishing Tip


 

From the Michigan DNR 

 

*OUT-Weekly fishing tipAre you ready (and prepared) to go ice fishing?

 

Several parts of Michigan should hopefully have ice in the coming weeks, thus providing anglers with an opportunity to go fishing. Will you be joining them? Then it’s time to get prepared to head out safely on the ice!

Equipment

You’ll need some special equipment if you head out ice fishing. Take stock of your spud/auger, skimmer, shelter and apparel to have an enjoyable experience out on the water.

Techniques

Pick your preferred ice fishing technique and the species you wish to target and brush up on your skills. Whether that is hook-and-line fishing for bluegill, sunfish, perch or crappie; using tip-ups for northern pike, walleye or trout; or spearing for northern pike, muskellunge or sturgeon.

Safety

You should always stay safe when heading on the ice. These five tips can help: 1) Never fish alone; 2) Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return; 3) Always test the ice with a spud; 4) Take the appropriate emergency items, such as a lifejacket and ice picks; and 5) Take a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help. Keep it in a plastic, sealable bag to make sure it doesn’t get wet.

Want more information on ice fishing? Visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

Michigan suckers are popular with spring anglers


Suckers have been given a bad rap.

Michigan’s world-class fisheries are numerous and well-known. Michigan boasts exceptional fishing for many of America’s top game fish – muskellunge, smallmouth bass, walleye and brown trout, among them – and is a popular destination for tournament fishermen seeking those species and others.

Another popular fishery exists for some less heralded specimens as well, including one that is heating up right now as sucker fishing comes to the fore. In spring, many species of suckers head upstream to spawn in the state’s rivers and creeks where plenty of anglers are ready, willing and able to challenge them.

“On some streams, sucker fishing produces more angling effort than anything else,” said Department of Natural Resources fish production manager Gary Whelan.

Thought (incorrectly) by some to be “trash” fish, suckers have been given a bad rap. There are those who believe they compete for food and space with more desirable species. They’ve also been blamed for eating the spawn of other species. However, there appears to be no scientific basis for these beliefs. Suckers have evolved side-by-side with most species of game fish and seem to coexist quite nicely with them. Most species of suckers demand relatively high water quality; in fact, excellent sucker fishing is available in some of the state’s premier trout streams.

“They are not carp,” Whelan said. “And they shouldn’t be thought of in those terms.”

Whelan said that suckers are an important component of the food chain, serving as prey for numerous species, especially northern pike and muskellunge.

Michigan boasts 15 members of the sucker family (Catostomidae), including the endangered Western creek chubsucker and threatened river redhorse. These spirited fighters are generally medium-sized fish – closely related to minnows – though some of them grow to significant sizes. The state-record black buffalo, for instance, weighed 33 pounds, 4 ounces.

The DNR’s Master Angler program recognizes seven species of suckers: redhorse;

bigmouth and black buffalo; quillback carpsucker; and longnose, northern hog and white suckers. A 2-pound longnose (22 inches for the catch-and-release category) or a 3-pound white sucker (20 inches) will earn a fisherman the DNR status of Master Angler.

Whelan said that suckers have an inferior mouth positioned to optimize feeding on the bottom. For the most part, suckers feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans and worms, though some species prefer feeding on snails or algae.

Most suckers will win few beauty contests. They tend to be drab in color—gray to mottled brown—though male longnose and white suckers develop a rose-colored lateral band during their spawning runs. The exception is the redhorse, which is a bright silvery color with orange or red fins.

“Fishing for suckers is typically a low-tech sport,” said the DNR’s Whelan. “All that’s necessary is a hook and a sinker, and earthworms make ideal bait. Cast out a line, let the bait sit on the bottom, and wait.”

Often, while steelhead anglers are wading or boating during the spring run, they encounter sucker fishermen – often whole families – sitting on the bank, rods propped in forked sticks, fishing in the same stretches of stream. Generally, sucker fishing is best in places where there is a break in the current: around obstructions or below riffles. Deep holes are popular with sucker anglers.

 

That said, anglers can make sucker fishing as complicated as they like. Fly fishing for suckers is becoming more popular all the time. Suckers will willingly take nymphs, yarn flies or even streamers fished on the bottom. They can be as selective as trout, and many a trout fisherman has been disappointed when he discovered the big brown he thought he’d hooked turned out to be a big white sucker.

Anglers are divided on suckers as table fare. Some turn up their noses (no doubt because of the trash fish/bottom-feeding reputation), while sucker aficionados swear by them—especially in spring when their flesh is firm. Suckers are bony fish and anglers have devised a number of methods for dealing with the bones. They are popularly pickled, canned, smoked or deep-fried. Folks who deep-fry them typically score the bones to make them easier to eat. Some people grind them and use the flesh to make patties or fish cakes.

“They’re good eating,” said Whelan, who says he’s eaten them pickled, fried and made into patties.

There is a small commercial fishery for suckers, though they are primarily a by-catch of commercial fishermen targeting other species or being caught for the pet-food industry. They do not command a high price, as global competition in the fish market has driven down demand.

Suckers may be taken with hand nets (of any circumference and handle length) from the Great Lakes, connecting waters and tributaries up to a half-mile upstream, March 1 to May 31 south of M-72, and April 1 to May 31 north of M-72. They can also be taken with dip nets (measuring no more than 9 feet by 9 feet) from Lower Peninsula non-trout streams from April 1 to May 31 and Upper Peninsula non-trout streams May 1 to 31.

Spearing suckers is a popular pastime, too, legal on non-trout streams April 1 to May 31 south of M-46; April 15 to May 31 between M-46 and M-72; and May 1 to 31 north of M-72. Bows and arrows may be used as well as lights. In the Great Lakes and connecting waters, suckers can be taken by spear or bow year-round.

The sucker fishery is one of the first to catch fire after the ice has melted, but by the time many anglers start thinking about fishing, the spring sucker run has already begun to fade.

Learn more about fishing for suckers and other Michigan species at www.michigan.gov/fishing. To sign up for the DNR’s weekly fishing report and other popular topics, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on the red enveloped labeled “Stay Connected.”

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

Smelt dipping is open statewide


With the warm spring weather, anglers should be aware that smelt dipping is open on all waters at this time and anglers can take 2 gallons daily. Smelt can be taken by hook/line, hand nets or dip nets.

“There is some confusion as there are two Fisheries Orders that appear to conflict with each other and this situation was just brought to our attention,” said Gary Whelan, regulatory affairs supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Division. “We will ensure that our orders are consistent for next year’s fishing and anglers should take advantage of our smelt fishing opportunities at this time.”

For more information on fishing and where the smelt are running in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

DNR reminds anglers about bait restrictions


As salmon begin making their way up the state’s rivers from the Great Lakes, the Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that the use of salmon eggs and minnows for bait is restricted in some waters as part of a strategy to slow the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).

VHS, a disease that causes fish to die from internal bleeding, has caused mortalities among a number of species of fish in Michigan in both the Great Lakes and inland waters. The disease has been found and has caused fish kills in Michigan’s waters of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. VHS has been found in Lake Michigan, but not in Michigan’s waters. Inland, it has been found in Budd Lake in Clare County and in Baseline Line Lake in Washtenaw County. VHS has not been found in Lake Superior.

“Basically, if you don’t take any spawn out of the watershed it came from and you fish below the first upstream barrier from the Great Lakes, you are legal,” said DNR fisheries biologist Gary Whelan.

“But you can not use it upstream from the first dam or in another body of water.”

Anglers who purchase spawn for bait should look for certified VHS-disinfected spawn as this bait can be used anywhere in the state. Certified VHS-free spawn and minnows are widely available and can be used up to 14 days after purchase.

Anglers who purchase bait must retain their receipt to prove it is disease-free. Uncertified bait may only be used in waters that have tested positive for VHS, as listed in Fisheries Order 245 which can be found on the DNR’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/vhs, and uncertified bait can be used for only three days after purchase.

“There is no known treatment for VHS,” Whelan said. “Our best defense against it is trying to prevent its spread.”

Anglers and boaters can help prevent the spread of VHS, as well as

other invasive species, by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Do not move fish from one body or water to another
  • Do not empty bait buckets into the water
  • Drain live wells and bilges when leaving the water
  • Disinfect boats between uses

For more details on all aspects of VHS and fishing regulations specific to VHS, check the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/vhs.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off


advert

LOCAL Advertisers

Bryne Electrical
The POST
Kent Theatre

Get the Cedar Springs Post in your mailbox for only $35.00 a year!