A local group deserves credit for stepping up and making an effort to replenish the Bays de Noc's walleye population.
The group, called Walleye Restoration, was organized by the Legislative, Economic and Community Development Council of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce. It is being supported by a variety of state lawmakers including Representatives Judy Nerat, Steve Lindberg and Mike Lahti.
The group is a collection of concerned local organizations. Its goal is to plant walleye in the Bays de Noc with the hope of bringing the population back to its former levels.
The walleye population of the Bays de Noc has been hard hit in recent years. One estimate states the population has declined nearly two thirds since 1994.
The Bays de Noc used to be known as the Walleye Capital of the World. However, word of the declining fish population and illegal fishing has spread.
This does not only impact anglers. The reach of this problem is much wider. The Bays de Noc are a potent economic force that has drawn anglers to the area year after year. One needs only to look at the number of national fishing tournaments that have been held here to gauge the impact. Each angler that visits the area spends money here. That money boosts the local economy. In the case of a tournament, the impact is multipled many, many times.
Anglers that have had successful fishing trips here are also likely to return, and recommend the area to friends as well.
Fewer anglers and fewer tournaments are coming to Delta County waters these days. The Walleye Restoration group is aiming to change that. They have ambitious plans of planting wallyeye fingerlings in the bays with the help of local organizations. Their ultimate goal is to get the walleye population of the Bays de Noc back to the levels they were in its prime.
What is admirable about the efforts of Walleye Resoration is the group is not looking to the state for fundng. Its goal is to only use funds raised through private sources or grants.
Walleye restoration is a group that is working for the benefit of everyone in Delta County - whether you are a fisherman or not. Every resident will benefit from a healthy, thriving bay.
Wallleye Restoration should be applauded for its efforts. The group is currently seeking partners and donors to join in the project. Anyone intetersted should contact the Delta County Chamber of Commerce at 786-2192 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be time well spent.