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Keep Catch and Immediate Release for Musky OFF Lake St. Clair

Keep Catch and Immediate Release for Musky OFF Lake St. Clair

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761
 
5,000  
Opened on September 19, 2017
 

Please join Lake St. Clair Muskies Inc., Michigan Ontario Musky Club, and The Lake St. Clair Charter Captains Association in helping gain signatures to provide to the Michigan DNR and the Michigan Natural Resource Commission that will aid in preventing a regulation change that would allow anglers to target Musky all year long.  The current season closes from December 15 to the first Saturday in June.  This closed season allows Musky to spawn without added angler pressure.  We don't see a reason to change regulations on the nations best, naturally reproducing musky fishery that would potentially disrupt the spawning of these incredible fish.  

The DNR/NRC have the idea that this proposed change will have little to no effect on the fishery.  LSCMI would challenge the thinking in that there is no current knowledge of what will happen to a naturally reproducing trophy-class musky fishery that transitions from a closed winter season to a year round CIR.  There is no current biological concern because there has been no studies conducted on mortality rates of spawning musky due to CIR seasons.  What is known is that we are up against some issues that are currently out of our control.  Pollution on Lake St. Clair is an ongoing problem, which no doubt has an effect on the fishery as a whole.  Invasive species are creating an ever evolving adaptation on all of the great lakes. VHS is also a known problem on the Great Lakes, specifically St. Clair.  VHS grows best in fish when the water temperatures are between 37-54 degrees.   Subsequently, musky spawn between 49-59 degrees.  So the added stress of spawning coupled with being susceptible to VHS is already affecting the fishery.  Adding additional stress from targeting the fish during the time that these other factors are already affecting the spawn could be detrimental.    Biological concern will only be had once this change is implemented and we realize it was a mistake that would take years to correct. Our fish and game laws in the State of Michigan are required to be made based on sound science.  LSCMI challenges the NRC to illustrate the sound science that proves the Lake St. Clair musky fishery would not be negatively affected if a change from the status quo is made, especially one that will potentially impact mature spawning fish.  

LSCMI would also like to point out to the NRC that Muskies Inc. nationally does not support the idea of targeting musky during spawning periods on naturally reproducing and self-sustaining lakes nationwide. 

LSCMI also finds it important to point out that the Lake St. Clair fishery doesn’t just affect Michigan residents, but also residents of Ontario, Canada, as well as residents of Ohio and beyond. Recent DNR movement studies will confirm that most fish tagged in the Detroit River in the spring return to Lake Erie in the summer.  Given the migratory nature of the musky, consideration must be given to the affect that any change may have on the overall musky fishery of the surrounding area.

In summary, LSCMI strongly urges the NRC, in the absence of sound scientific data that would clearly illustrate that such a change would have no long term negative affect, and with factors like pollution and VHS already stressing the fish population, to grant an exception to the proposed year round CIR season for Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and the Detroit River to keep it as it currently is. 

Please sign this petition to show the DNR/NRC that this change is not wanted by anglers and sportsman alike.

Thanks

Dave Lagman  

Director, 

Lake St. Clair Muskies Inc

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