Wisconsin Conservation News

See Wisconsin DNR announcement regarding the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scheduling of three public meetings in late June to discuss management strategies and opportunities for Lake Michigan in light of continued challenges facing salmon populations and the alewives they feed on.

Wisconsin’s River Falls Journal reports on the US Department of Agriculture’s sobering mid-May report of its survey of 2015-16 honey bee colony losses (44%).  This news prompted more journalistic attention to the role of neonicotinoid pesticides regarding the honey bee decline and the impact of these chemicals on other non-target beneficial insects especially those that represent trout food.

National Conservation Issues of Interest

Today marks one year since the EPA and Army Corps finalized and signed the Clean Water Rule, which clarifies, after nearly 15 years of confusion, exactly what waters are and are not protected by the Clean Water Act. The rule has huge importance for coldwater fisheries and the majority of waterfowl habitat in the country, yet we’re still not able to move forward with implementing it.

For more information visit the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership website.

Michigan Fishing News

In 2013 the Michigan DNR lifted a ban on chumming in Michigan rivers and streams. Previously chumming had been banned due to concern that it may spread disease from river to river. The DNR decided the threat was no longer an issue, thus there was no need for the ban.

Chumming typically consists of throwing loose salmon or steelhead eggs in to the river to create an artificial feeding frenzy. Often it will move fish from their typical lies and attract them to the food source, i.e. the person throwing chum in the water. This is basically an unethical and extremely selfish practice.

Since 2013 the practice of chumming has escalated severely. The use of chum is now being used on trout during the hottest parts of the summer when they are most vulnerable. If we don’t stop this now when will it end?

Previously the issue has been discussed and the NRC (Natural Resource Commission) has held open meetings to discuss the topic. In the past few months the NRC has made it clear that they will reach a decision whether to ban practice or to drop the issue forever. The proposed ban will be on the Muskegon, Pere Marquette, and Manistee rivers.

This is a very serious issue. Especially for anyone who has fished for trout/salmon/ or steelhead in Michigan. The only way to convince the NRC to ban this unethical practice is to take action by sending letters and emails by any and all who care to:

Nelsonc@michigan.gov
Jonbumstead@house.mi.gov

Letters from out of state senders play an important role since they show that the chumming decision may affect the amount of tourism dollars that are coming into Michigan.

June 2016 “On the Fly” Blog Featuring Midwest Conservation and Fishing News

Our third edition of the “On the Fly” blog features conservation and fishing news from the Midwest which should be of interest to Oak Brook TU members.  Our goal is to share similar news on a bimonthly basis with this new blog make its debut on our website.  The next OBTU Conservation and Fishing Blog is scheduled for late August.

Please share timely articles of interest for inclusion in future issues and/or your feedback with:

Jim Schmiedeskamp

jimschmieds@gmail.com