Happy New Year from the GLSI!
We would like to update you on our 2020 activities and plans for 2021.
Most of us will probably agree we are glad to see 2020 pass into the history books. King salmon numbers were down last season but at least the fish were healthy and large, indicating an improvement in the predator prey balance and more forage for our fish to thrive on.
Our President and one of the founding members of the GLSI, Capt. Glen Buehner moved to Florida last year to run saltwater charters and he has been very successful there. With his passion for our Great Lakes fisheries, he planned to continue leading and assisting the GLSI. His heavy workload and steady fishing activity slowed our Facebook communications which is why our page has been quiet in the last half of the year. Recently and with regret, Capt. Glen made the decision to resign as President of the GLSI due to his work in Florida. We really appreciate the hard work and countless hours he contributed to improve our fishery and build this organization. If you are headed to St Augustine Florida and want to go fishing, check out Sea Love Charters and like their Facebook page.
Even though our Facebook page has been quiet, the GLSI board continued working on fisheries issues last year. When the Michigan steelhead egg take was cancelled in the spring of 2020 due to Covid, we immediately reached out to the DNR to encourage them to replace the fall steelhead fingerlings scheduled for the fall of 2020 and the 2021 spring steelhead plants with Chinook salmon equivalencies. What this means is for every 2.4 steelhead planted, they could be replaced with 1 chinook. Equivalencies are used so there is no negative impact to the predator prey balance. The DNR agreed with this approach and as a result, an extra chinook plant was made at Grand Haven last year to replace fall fingerlings and chinook plants will increase by 225,000 fish this spring to replace the steelhead we are not planting this year.
GLSI also launched a micro-tagged head reward program in 2020. All tagged heads turned in during 2020 will be entered in a drawing for 33 $100 prizes packages. Those heads are processed in the winter and as soon as processing is complete, the drawing will take place and 33 lucky anglers will win either $100 Captain Chuck gift cards or $100 Moonshine Lure spoon and swag packs. We really appreciate our co-sponsors, Moonshine Lures and Captain Chucks II in Ludington. Your GLSI membership fees also made this giveaway possible. We look forward to announcing the winners later this year.
The GLSI is representing its members at workshops led by Kelley F. Robinson, Assistant Professor of the Quantitative Fisheries Center, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. The goal is to update and improve the Predator Prey Model used to manage our Great Lakes fisheries and determine stocking capacity for our Great Lakes. One of the primary missions of the GLSI is to ensure we use the best science to manage our lakes and this, along with our tagged head reward program support those efforts.
Now that 2021 is here, we are working to define the priorities for the GLSI. Our organization was formed to represent the needs of recreational anglers, charter captains, tackle shops and other fishery related businesses that expect and require a healthy salmon fishery to thrive. A strong king salmon fishery provides a tremendous economic benefit to port communities. One unique aspect of the GLSI is that we are one of the few organizations that survey it membership to determine what we should focus on. We will be sending our annual membership survey out by email to our members soon to drive the GLSI agenda for 2021. We are considering a new proposal that would allow anglers to run more rods. We will also be working on stocking recommendations for 2021. Should we fund another reward program in 2021 to help collect more data to manage our Great Lakes fisheries? Should we contribute funding to the Tribal Consent Decree negotiation that are ongoing? We will look to our membership to determine how we move forward on these ideas.
Our board of directors are all unpaid volunteers. They donate their time and resources to improve our fishing. We run a tight budget and we use our membership funds very carefully. If you like what we are doing and would like to participate in our membership survey, please consider joining the GLSI. You can do that at the website in our page header.
We will be very active in 2021 so look for frequent updates here and via our membership emails. Here’s to a much better year in 2021 with tight lines and full boxes!