Fisheries Workshops – Michigan Sea Grant

Michigan Sea Grant, in partnership with fisheries agencies and stakeholder organizations, hosts public information workshops annually. The workshops focus on current research and information related to the regional status of Great Lakes fisheries. These workshops are open to the public and provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals and other interested stakeholders. If …

Secrets to Allow Commercial Netters to Keep Walleye and Lake Trout

by Capt. Terry R. Walsh  A few years ago, a Michigan State University fisheries student spent an entire summer on commercial fishing boats in Saginaw Bay. His objective was to determine the amount of walleye caught as “by-catch” (non-targeted species) in commercial small mesh trap nets. The results estimated that between 23,500 and 102,000 walleye are easily killed in commercial nets during the course of a given season.

So why is the DNR even thinking of allowing commercial netters to keep five pounds of walleye “by- catch” per net each time nets are pulled when annually such a large number of walleye are killed each season? Under the proposed new law a netter with 20 or more nets listed on his license would be al- lowed up to 100 pounds per license whether or not he actually had that many nets set. If all the current licenses in Saginaw Bay were active and fished, up to 680 pounds of walleye can be kept each day the nets are lifted. Instead, the emphasis should be placed on compensating the commercial netters and removing as many small mesh trap nets as possible from the bay.

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