Disobedience of the gill net regulations in Michigan are upsetting some recreational fishermen.
We received a message from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous enlightening us to a controversy brewing in Michigan fishing waters.
According to the reader, who has been hunting and fishing in Michigan his entire life, gill nets abandoned or otherwise used illegally are harming the fish populations.
Recently there’s been an increase in the number of gill nets that are being used, abandoned or found after falling off of boats, and those convicted are receiving $300 fines for their violation of gear restrictions.
More fines and restitution may be required, but our reader insisted this was nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.”
Gill nets, especially when abandoned, create literal traps for fish and cause unnecessary deaths among many fish species and other wildlife populations. They’re an extremely effective method of commercially catching large amounts of fish, but are heavily regulated in the state by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Check out this video, shared by Upper Peninsula, from the Michigan DNR’s recovery of an abandoned net late last year. The images are shocking to say the least.
That, combined with our reader’s message, was enough to peak our interest and share the story with you.
The part of the reader’s message that resonated the most with us was this: “I am getting married this fall and soon enough will have kids of my own. I want to be able to bring them out fishing just like my dad did, but I’m concerned if this continues there won’t be the fish there for them to catch like there was for me.”
That’s meaningful, and we can only hope that awareness and action will start improving the situation.
How do you feel about the use of gill nets in Michigan or elsewhere? Are they seen as a problem where you fish?