Whether you are an angler, a hunter or both, Michigan wildlife mgmt. is experiencing a challenging time. TB, CWD, APRs in the deer hunting world, how our Great Lakes fisheries can be managed from Salmon and Trout, Walleye and Perch, sport angling interests to Tribal and State Commercial anglers, The GLSI would like to correct the misconceptions and remind members and the public why we formed, the goals, interests and refute the slanderous comments directed towards the GLSI and membership.
First and foremost we want our salmon and trout fisheries managed by science!! Keep in mind the reason we formed. After the crash of L. Huron salmon fishery, alewife collapse, the plan to save the fishery in L. Mi was to cut Chinook drastically, especially in Michigan waters. In 2013 Michigan cut CHS plants by 65% from 1.591 million to 562K. In 2016 the MDNR advertised that in 2017 further cuts were to be made by slashing CHS plants again, planting 200K, 13% of 2012 stocking, and failed to cut other species. The fear being promoted by agencies was to not have crash like Huron. To be direct—we were well on our way under this plan to be like L. Huron. Not a collapse of a fishery but a collapse of the industry for a native only agenda dominated by Lake Trout. Chinook are the economic driver of industry, angler participation, tackle sales, gas, travel dollars and not just on the big water but a return tributary fishery also. With all of the negative press about CHS and mussels by agencies they were on the way to collapsing an industry. The GLSI formed to question the agenda, reviewed the science and offered alternative solutions. Part of the solution was to reduce Lake trout plants for a balanced fishery, at no point did we express that trout should not have a place in the fishery, it should not be the dominant species which isn’t the desired species by the majority of anglers.
Since the change by Wisconsin in their stocking plan and the fear of the unknown, how states and agencies will work in a cooperative effort, there have been some inaccurate accusations and untruths directed towards the GLSI. We have been accused of using lobbyists, and blackmailing states. Number 1, we DO NOT employee lobbyists! We have not since Nov. of 2016. This is not to say that we won’t hire Lobbyists in the future. At this time we are trying to work WITH the MDNR and in the current political climate, lobbyists we feel would be a liability. The WLBA has been able to effectively employ a lobbing group and if GLSI efforts are not heard we may have to change our direction. Any group or organization like ours is by definition a lobbying organization by lobbying for the desires of it’s constituents, utilizing the services of lobbyists is far different. Online comments accusing us of blackmail is not only laughable but slanderous, and disrespectful to members. I didn’t realize we had so much stroke to be able to use blackmail against a state. What we do, is represent the members, express the expectations of the membership for the direction of a balanced fishery and industry, not blindly follow like sheep. If you look, these are the desires by the majority of anglers around the lake.
We will be emailing another survey to get your opinions and comments on other topics, keep an eye out.
Pictured below is our first meeting with the MDNR, with the original members of the Board of Directors at Constitution Hall in Lansing.