Letters to the Editor

Keep trout streams confidential

To the Journal editor:

John Voelker must be spinning in his grave. The legendary stalker of native brook trout is surely looking down from his heavenly Frenchman’s Pond with incredulity at this latest attack on the speckled beauties and their environs that he so cherished. And what, is this threat to this finny treasure?

Why nothing less than the cyber war initiated by the well-meaning Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With the inception of the DNR’s Trout Trails program, it’s now possible to sit in the comfort of your home, make a few taps on your electronic device and get detailed information as to where, when and how to catch trout on hundreds of locations throughout the state.

No more pumping the local fisheries biologist for info, or bribing the locals with a six pack for the inside scoop, nor yet, using a topo map and actually getting out and walking in pursuit of a rumored trout Valhalla. Nope, now all the fishing world has to do is jump in the Suburban, tap the old iPhone and be instantly directed to trout waters previous generations guarded with lies, deception and vigor.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a DNR basher; I actually worked for DNR Parks for a number of years. I support the department in its ongoing efforts to protect our land and waters, fish and wildlife, but institutions, like people, are not perfect, and in the initiation of the Trout Trails program, I believe the department has made an unfortunate, potentially tragic misstep.

Wild native brook trout are not their hatchery raised cousins. They are gems to be cherished and protected. Though often elusive and hard to find, once chanced upon they can become lemmings in their rush to self destruction. They need and deserve to be protected from their arch enemy — us.

I urge the department to abandon its efforts to publicize the environs of this species. Let Trout Trails lead the angler to the many trout stocked rivers and ponds throughout the Upper Peninsula and the state. Tell us where and when the walleye are biting, but leave our wild trout to their secret lairs.

Robert Traver wrote, “I fish because I love to: because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly…”

Let’s keep the environs of the native brook trout beautiful and secret.

Doug Mills


Thanks from Phil

To the Journal editor:

Thank you to everyone who donated flowers and other items to beautify the pocket park in downtown Marquette. The response was overwhelming.

And special thanks to WLUC-TV6 for purchasing a hose. That was very nice.

Phil Niemisto


Editor’s note: Phil may be too humble to mention it, but the pocket park was renamed the Phil Niemisto Pocket Park this past January in honor of his 35 years of devotion to tending to the park and other sites in the city.