Brook trout possession limit increase proposed in Upper Peninsula

(Michigan DNR)

The Michigan DNR is proposing an increase to the brook trout possession limit on select Upper Peninsula stream sections starting in April 2018, the agency said in a news release Monday, Sept. 25.

The brook trout daily possession limit has been set at five for the past 17 years. During that time, many requests were received from anglers wanting to keep more fish. Sparked by these requests and with interest from the Natural Resources Commission and input from the DNR’s Coldwater Regulations Steering Committee, department fisheries staff investigated social and biological aspects of increasing the brook trout possession limit from five to 10 on a subset of Upper Peninsula streams.

From 2011 to 2017, public opinions were obtained through numerous public meetings, various surveys (internet, postcard, creel), consultations with sport clubs and other governing agencies, and from public e-mails, letters and phone calls. Biological information was gathered on seven streams using electrofishing surveys, and DNR creel clerks collected catch, effort and harvest data on four streams.

Using this information, fisheries staff worked to select specific stream segments or sub-watersheds to be considered for the 10-fish possession limit based on guidelines proposed by the DNR’s Fisheries Division and accepted by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. Consideration was given at the level of individual sub-watersheds, but staff also sought to look broadly across all unit and community boundaries. The intent was to find a way to diversify fishing opportunities across the landscape while simultaneously being protective of brook trout populations.

The proposal seeks to implement a higher brook trout possession limit on 33 stream sections distributed throughout the Upper Peninsula. In terms of stream mileage, the selected sections represent about 8 percent of the total mileage for Type 1 Upper Peninsula streams. Maps of the proposed streams are available on the DNR website.

The proposed regulation change will benefit anglers by creating additional fishing opportunities, the DNR said. Details about specific stream sections to be included under the proposed regulation will be presented at the Oct. 12 Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 500 West Fletcher St., in Alpena.

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