On October 15 the Department of Natural Resources announced doubling the limit for brook trout in ten streams in the Upper Peninsula. For a decade the daily limit for brook trout has been five, in both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas, and the new proposal will increase this to ten per day, per person, but only in the UP. A small group in the UP has voiced this initiative, including two Natural Resource Commissioners. The change is going to be in effect starting November 8.
“There is little biological evidence regarding how many brook trout can be kept without harming sustainable population levels,” says Marvin Roberson, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Forest Ecologist. Opposition has formed against this proposal and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter has called upon the Michigan DNR Director, Keith Creagh, to put a hold on the proposition, until more data is gathered. The Fisheries Division of the DNR is also against this increase, and has been supported by the majority of the Coldwater Resources Steering Committee. In addition, 55% of UP anglers support the daily limit of five brook trout, while only 17% oppose it. As for the increase to 10 trout, only 28% support it, while 58% oppose the new proposal.
“To make matters worse, the proposal indicates research on the effects of the regulations will commence after the regulations are changed,” said Roberson. “The DNR has no data on current conditions, and consequently will have no ability to assess conditions and effects after the new regulations.” The Sierra Club and other opposing organizations are working hard at getting the DNA to postpone the proposal, for more public dialogue and concerns to be considered, and information to be gathered.
To voice your concerns, contact the Michigan DNR Director, Keith Creagh, at DNR-Director@michigan.gov or 517-373-2329. DNR Fisheries Chief, Jim Dexter, can be contacted at email@example.com or 517-373-3375.