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E-M:/ Fishing Regulation Changes for 2006 Signed



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2005

CONTACT: Todd Grischke 517-373-1280, or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

Fishing Regulation Changes for 2006 Signed

Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries today signed several fisheries orders that will go into effect on April 1, 2006. Humphries signed the orders at the monthly meeting of the Natural Resources Commission.

The changes in the orders from the 2005 fishing season are:

Statewide Trout, Salmon, Whitefish and Lake Herring Regulations. Several inland lakes have been removed from the type designation, and several other lakes have been added to the order so they can be regulated by the type designation listing. There also are some changes to stream designations. The 2006 Inland Trout and Salmon Guide will contain all local changes.

Great Lakes lake trout and splake regulations have been modified in several lake trout management units for Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In Lake Superior, lake trout management unit MI-6 has been changed to a 15-inch minimum size limit with daily possession of three. This change makes all the lake trout regulations for the Michigan waters of Lake Superior consistent throughout. Lake Michigan lake trout management unit MM-4 has been changed to a minimum size limit of 20 inches with a maximum size limit of 25 inches, except that one fish in the daily possession limit may be 34 inches or greater in length. Lake Michigan lake trout management unit MM-5 has been changed to a maximum size limit of 23 inches except that one fish in the daily possession limit may be 34 inches or greater in length. In Lake Huron, lake trout management unit MH-1 has a 22-inch minimum size limit. This change makes regulations consistent between MH-1 and MH-2 which will simplify regulations for anglers. In Lake Huron, splake regulations have been changed to be consistent with lake trout throughout each of the units. The open season for splake has been changed to open May 1 through Sept. 30 for all Lake Huron waters. In units MH-1 and MH-2, the minimum size limit for splake has been changed to 22 inches with a 15-inch minimum size limit for splake for units MH 3 through MH-6.

Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters.  On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters the minimum size limit for lake sturgeon has been changed to 60 inches with an open season from the first Saturday in September through Sept. 30. In the Menominee River from the Hattie Street dam downstream to the mouth, sturgeon possession is zero.

Statewide Coolwater Regulations for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, Sauger, Muskellunge, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish and Yellow Perch.  Several changes have been made to walleye and bass regulations effective April 1, 2006. The two-month closure on walleye harvest for Lake Erie has been removed, resulting in year-around open season. Also, walleye may now be taken from the Michigan waters of Green Bay from the mouth of the Menominee River northward to the latitudinal line (45 degrees/15 minutes) located approximately three miles south of Rochereau Point. This regulation involves a change to the current season and possession limit: the open season from March 12 through the first Saturday in May, the daily possession limit is one walleye and from the first Saturday in May to March 1, five in combination. The minimum size limit remains unchanged. Anglers fishing in this area must have a valid Michigan fishing license.

Another change includes allowing anglers to fish for bass during a catch and immediate release season prior to the possession season. Catch and release fishing will be allowed from the last Saturday in April through the Friday before Memorial Day in the Lower Peninsula including the Great Lakes and connecting waters, from the last Saturday in April through the third Saturday in June in Lake St. Clair, and from May 15 through the Friday before Memorial Day on Upper Peninsula waters including the Great Lakes and connecting waters. The opening day for harvest on Lake St. Clair remains unchanged. The previous regulation allowing catch and release bass fishing beginning April 1 on six lakes in the Lower Peninsula has been dropped.

Guidelines for Selection of Quality Non-trout Fishing Lakes.  This order was put into effect to allow the DNR's Fisheries Division to develop a process to create quality fishing lakes by designation. Based on the newly developed criteria, Jones Lake in Crawford County has been placed into the quality lakes designation. Regulations effective April 1, 2006 will now include catch and release, artificial lures only and an angling season from June 1 to Sept. 30 each year.

For more information on these and other fisheries orders previously signed by Humphries, please visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr, and click on the "Fishing" section.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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