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Commercial fisherman sues for netting rights.

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I re-posted this here for more prolonged discussion and viewing.

I talked to some important people with the DNR today about this. I'm posting and sending this to everybody I know, including businesses, local Chamber of Commerce, TV stations and/or anybody who will listen. I'd like anybody in position to help in any fashion in this matter to do so.

Draft concerning a Lawsuit filed against the Mi. DNR for license to Commercially net walleyes out of Lake Huron/Saginaw Bay.

My only intention here in writing and sending this draft to you, is to first inform and (if possible) seek a response by all that receive and/or see it. Our DNR is being sued by one commercial fisherman, for the exclusive rights of this one man, to harvest walleyes on Lake Huron. This may very well (and probably will) include Saginaw Bay. The hearing date to hear this law suit by a federal judge is set for February 10th. How he will rule on this matter may very well effect the quality of fishing all of us will have for the coming years. If nothing else, it would surely effect the catch rate and peoples mind-set and willingness to come to our community to spend their leisure dollars in our local businesses. And IMHO if this one man was licensed to net walleyes, other commercial fishermen will surely fallow suit and petition for those same rights. I do not have to mention the huge (Volunteered) public and private efforts, along with the cost and time spent over the last 25 by the state to bring this fishery back to wear it was 70 years ago. And all that time with no walleye netting allowed.

This is not a personal Vendetta against commercial fishermen. I only seek to have those who have concerns for this fishery and its future to have a voice in this matter and its possible results. And is my intention at this juncture, along with another concerned fisherman (Bill Olar) to simply make a plea to seek support of businesses, fishing clubs and/or individuals who can and who will get behind an effort to spread this word and to have a voice in it’s conclusion. We could also use any (Pro Bono) legal advise or help in this matter, as we are not (yet) monetarily able at this time to hire a lawyer to join with the DNR attorney as litigants in this case. And in fact may be denied that opportunity by the federal judge. But can (if need be) get in on an appeal that would then be brought by the DNR into the states court jurisdiction. We may also call of have a meeting of concerned citizens to discuss this matter and our alternatives. Thank you for your time and please respond with comments to my E-mail address. Capt. Dan Manyen.


Michigan sued over walleye rules

Associated Press

DETROIT - One of Michigan's most successful commercial fishermen is suing the state to try to overcome a decades-old ban on catching walleye in the Great Lakes.

Dana Serafin of Pinconning is forced to release thousands of walleye from his nets while catching other fish in Lake Huron.

In 2008, he proposed a three-year study of the walleye population that included a provision for him to keep and sell some of his haul.

No thanks, replied the state Department of Natural Resources

"They're the bully in the lake, 2 to 3 feet long - we have pictures," said Serafin's lawyer, Anthony Calamunci. "In Saginaw Bay, there is cannibalization going on. It's killing perch and whitefish at enormous rates.

"There's just not enough food."

Calamunci filed a lawsuit in April in federal court in Bay City, claiming the state's ban on commercial walleye fishing is a constitutional violation that diminishes the value of Serafin's license.

The DNR is asking a judge to dismiss the case.

"The restrictions on walleye fishing have been in place for at least 35 years, long before Serafin obtained his first commercial license," Assistant Attorney General Louis Reinwasser said in a Nov. 13 court filing.

Michigan law gives the DNR "complete discretion to limit the amount of fish taken by species and kind," he wrote.

The DNR describes Serafin, 42, as the largest commercial fisherman on Lake Huron, catching 990,000 pounds of whitefish worth approximately $1 million in 2008.

His license is "indisputably" valuable, despite the walleye ban, Reinwasser said.

A DNR official, James Dexter, suggested that the state does not want to change the policy because that could reduce the walleye population and disappoint recreational anglers.

The fish can be found across the Great Lakes region, and Michigan's neighbors have similar restrictions.

"It is estimated that more than 2 million Michigan residents fish for sport in the state's waters, and thousands more travel from all parts of the world," Dexter, who oversees fishing regulations, said in an affidavit.

"The economic impact is estimated to be $2-4 billion annually."

Calamunci accuses the DNR of treating walleye like a "sacred species." He said Serafin at a minimum would like to keep some walleye as well as tag others and return them to the lake.

"And then over a three-year period we could test the impact on other species. There's a science to this," the lawyer said.

He noted that Canada allows commercial fishermen to keep walleye caught on its side of Lake Huron and sell them to stores and restaurants.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 10.

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Just finished an interview with WEYI News, Channel 4 on Charter Cable about this law suit. It will air tonight at 6:00pm and 11:00pm. Here's a link to that station. And those of you who do not get that station on TV might be able to view it via this link. http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/

Also, Mike Avery just called me on his Cell Phone, from a deer stand somehwere in Canada. He also did not know about the law suit. He said he will get involved with it on his radio show when he gets back from that hunt.

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We've got a local celebrity amongst us!:lol: Glad to see that you got some exposure, expressing the concern of the sportsmen:superman: Sportfishing = $2-$4 billion dollars. Hopefully the outcome of this case is good for us and not for the commercial fishermen. What I really hope happens is that when they argue about the amount of walleye that choke the nets currently, and the amount of dead loss of non target fish they tell him to fish somewhere else.

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What we should all do is start reporting poorly marked nets. They are difficult to see in ideal conditions. They are almost impossible to see when the waves are two or more feet, until you are almost on top of them.

that is no joke either. milk jugs just don't cut it

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i was surprised to see that the poll question was at 31 percent for commercial fishing...then again only 80 some people voted

I was actually not surprised by it. There are 3 factions IMV voting for the netter.

The first, in most cases anybody over 60 years old in the saginaw Bay fishing community blame the walleye for the perch decline. They are from the old ecosystem school. Big fish eat small fish and to many big fish eat to many small fish. They fail to realize or will listen to other facts. Water clarity is 1000 times clearer then back when perch were king. Perch of all sizes cannot hide from the other mass killer, Commorants. These two things coming together are IMV the bigest perch killer on the Bay.

The second faction are the people who call me at least 10 times a year asking if I sell fish. They see more commercial fishermen as a good thing, so as to buy more fresh fish they cannot cacth themselves.

The last of course the netters themselves and their immediate familes, who are as ravenous about the outcome as any sportsfisherman are.

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the third faction i had actually thought about...but the first one makes a ton of sense...we hear it a lot in muskegon as far as the perch go ...recollections of the days when you could walk out on the piers and fill a 5 gallon pail and be home before lunch...anyway...lets hope all goes well

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