The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is attempting to engage the angling public in several fish surveys this spring, summer and fall, which will help provide information for those assessing conditions of fisheries or deciding future regulations on various bodies of water.
We think the surveys are a good opportunity for anglers to voice their opinions related to some of their favorite fishing waters. There are inland and Great Lakes creel surveys and there are also angler surveys along select experimental brook trout streams where current regulations allow for a daily limit catch of 10, rather than five, brook trout.
The DNR also recently announced angler surveys for Nawakwa Lake in Alger County and East and Muskallonge lakes in Luce County. Those surveys are designed to help evaluate the status of those northern pike fisheries.
All three of those pike lake surveys include questions about the type of bait used, the number of days anglers fish for northern pike at each location, and angler preferences regarding northern pike fisheries. DNR fisheries officials said participation in these survey efforts is key to proper fisheries management.
We agree and we think anglers should take the short amount of time it takes to complete fishery surveys. The results of these surveys are often used to help create future regulations on bodies of water and the opinions of anglers can be important in determining how strict or liberal those regulations should be, what types of baits and tackle should be allowed or whether additional restrictions might be helpful in ongoing efforts to allow the fishery to flourish.
In general, the DNR surveys the public through personnel staffing fishing locations, with self-addressed survey cards made available at fishing sites, which can be returned to the DNR free of charge, or surveys which may be completed online.
For more information on the DNR's fishing surveys, or fishing in Michigan, visit the fishing section of the DNR's website at: www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364--,00.html.