From the Helm . . .
After going through two hard winters, it was a nice break this year in the weather department. As I write this President’s report for the Cannonball, we have nice, early spring weather arriving this year. At this time of year my thoughts are of years past with the stellar brown trout fishing along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Those days may never come back but there is some improvement over the last two years. Catch rates are on the way up again, especially from Manistee north to Leland. Let’s hope that trend continues this spring.
There is other good news just out this last month. Michigan DNR Fisheries are planning on hatchery renovations at some hatcheries to increase steelhead planting numbers starting next year. That’s a good thing considering king salmon numbers are down in both lakes Michigan and Huron.
Aquaculture or fish farming remains the hot button issue for the MCBA board. We have had some good news in that our legislators have decided that Great Lakes net-pen aquaculture is not a good thing for our fishery and the pollution it brings to Great Lakes waters. Coming up on the 8th of April there is a “Sea Food Summit Meeting” hosted by Michigan Sea Grant. Morning topics will include marketing fish from fish farming and starting up your own fish farm business. Afternoon topics, of real interest to me, are types of net pen operations and the future of aquaculture around the Great Lakes. For all of us in the charter fishing business we need to understand the types and construction of these net pens. Future legislation depends on us making the right decisions by trying to keep these open flow net pens out of the Great Lakes waters.
Our fall annual workshop meeting and banquet will be located at the Treetop’s Resort in Gaylord, MI. The MCBA board thought that maybe our U.P. Captains would find this location better suited for them this year. Of real interest to them will be the old Enbridge oil pipeline that runs across the Straits of Mackinaw. This is right in our back yard captains. An oil leak or spill could wipe out fishing in northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, so this year we have a speaker from Enbridge Co. to address the public’s worries should that line ever rupture.
I hope everyone has a great 2016 season, and just maybe salmon fishing will improve this year. Maybe the warmer winter will benefit alewife survival enough so that we’ll see greater numbers of salmon this spring.
“Stay safe out their Captains”
Capt. Eric Andersen – President