New bag limits for U.P. trout opener

MARQUETTE — Anglers heading out for the trout season opener at the end of the month will have portions of nearly 40 Upper Peninsula trout streams where an additional five brook trout may be kept as part of the daily bag limit.

The new regulation approved last falladded a suite of 36 streams, or portions of streams, where 10 trout is the daily possession limit.

For streams not on the list, the daily bag limit remains at five.

During the 2016-17 fishing season, there were eight U.P. research area streams where a 10-trout bag limit was allowed.

Five of those streams were removed from the final listing proposal and no longer have a 10-brook-trout bag limit. These five streams include portions of Bryan Creek (Marquette and Dickinson counties); East Branch Huron River (Baraga and Marquette counties); East Branch Tahquamenon River (Chippewa County); Presque Isle River and tributaries (Gogebic County) and Rock River and tributaries (Alger County).

With the exception of Menominee County, 14 of the U.P.’s 15 counties have at least one stream included on the 10 Brook Trout Possession Limit Waters list.

“The intent of the regulation change is to diversify fishing opportunities across the whole U.P. landscape, while simultaneously being protective of brook trout populations,” said Jim Dexter, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division Chief.

Over the past six years, at the request of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, and with input from members of the Coldwater Regulations Steering Committee, DNR Fisheries Division staff investigated social and biological aspects of increasing anglers’ brook trout possession limit from five to 10 on a subset of U.P. trout streams.

Public opinions were gathered using several methods, including more than two dozen public meetings, various surveys conducted via the Internet, postcards and creel clerks (384 responses received), consultations with sport clubs and other governing agencies, and from e-mails, letters and telephone calls.

Biological information was gathered on seven streams using electrofishing surveys, while creel clerks collected catch, effort and harvest data on four streams.

“Staff worked to select specific stream segments or sub-watersheds to be considered for the 10-brook trout possession limit, based on criteria proposed by the DNR Fisheries Division and accepted by the Natural Resources Commission,” Dexter said. “Staff also looked broadly across all fisheries unit boundaries.”

The opening day of inland trout season on Type 1 streams, which include the increased bag limit, is Saturday, April 28.

For a complete listing of the streams where a 10-trout bag limit is allowed, see the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide available from DNR offices, where fishing licenses are sold an online at mi.gov/fishing.

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