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Idea for “Great Lakes Trolling License Stamp”

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I wanted to get angler reactions about an idea for a proposal for a new Michigan Fishing License option specifically for Great Lakes Trolling.

The license would be in Addition to your normal license, but would allow for the use Up To 3 additional rods when trolling - Only in the Michigan Great Lakes waters.
With this license, a “Solo” angler would be allowed run up to an additional 3 rods, for a total of 6 rods.
Or, two anglers, if they both had purchased this additional license, could use up to a total of 12 rods.
To keep it reasonable, a maximum of two of these licenses could be used per boat at one time.

The license would NOT allow for any change or increase in Keep/Possession Limits. No additional keep amounts would be allowed by the license.
The proposed added cost of the license would be to be the same as the fee as the regular annual fee.
For example: $26 for base Resident license; plus another $26 for the “trolling stamp”. For Non-Resident, it would be $76 base, $76 Trolling stamp.

With modern autopilot, a solo angler can easily manage 6 lines, and with deep water, the ability to have 2 presentations at each of bottom, mid, and high would greatly benefit our many solo anglers who are at a large disadvantage today compared to boats that are able to arrange multiple licensed anglers to be on board. 

Considering the changing makeup of fish population types in the great lakes, this could allow an ability for smaller boats to target multiple species such as Lake Trout at bottom water, and Steelhead or Coho in top water. Having this license available might also help keep angler interest given declining populations of some species like Chinook salmon.

From a revenue standpoint, the State would be able to collect considerable additional funding from license fees from the same base of anglers, and, would enjoy the added tax revenue driven by purchases of additional rods/reels/tackle. 

I wanted to see if many people would be interested in purchasing an added licenses like this if became available.

It there was a lot of interest, we might convince the DNR to consider offering it.
 

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Would a normal stamp still be available, which is to say if you didn't want the additional cost of this proposed new stamp, you could still buy a standard stamp and fish the Great Lakes with your usual rods per man? I'm just wondering if the high price tag might deter some from getting into the game, and you definitely don't want that to happen. Also, there are many people on here and other sites that believe less is more who might not like having to pay more if they won't be using more rods.

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46 minutes ago, TyeeII said:

Would a normal stamp still be available, which is to say if you didn't want the additional cost of this proposed new stamp, you could still buy a standard stamp and fish the Great Lakes with your usual rods per man? I'm just wondering if the high price tag might deter some from getting into the game, and you definitely don't want that to happen. Also, there are many people on here and other sites that believe less is more who might not like having to pay more if they won't be using more rods.

Totally Optional.

Just an option for people who troll the great lakes and felt it was a worth the added cost to buy this special add-on stamp.

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On 1/26/2019 at 1:45 PM, fishoak said:

Totally Optional.

Just an option for people who troll the great lakes and felt it was a worth the added cost to buy this special add-on stamp.

I really like the idea and would definitely purchase this. I wish Illinois would consider such an option.God knows the ILDNR could use the revenue this would generate...

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I like the idea and would definitely buy one.  It might pick up more traction with the powers that be by decreasing the lines a bit; one stamp on board 6 rods, 2 stamps 9 rods, 3 stamps 12.

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What would be the process for moving a proposal forward to the DNR for consideration?


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4 hours ago, Wes34 said:

What would be the process for moving a proposal forward to the DNR for consideration?

1

I emailed Fishoak's suggestion to [email protected]  I'll reply here if/when I get some feedback.

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I will cast the lone negative vote . How many solo anglers don’t have / can’t afford autopilot? For any more than a solo angler you can get a program established with 6 plus rods. Not saying less is more all the time but it often is . Revenue side - what would they do with it ?  Tell us how great natural reproduction is and cut king plants more ? 

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Not a fan.  here is why

 

all of us that would by a stamp to run 6 rods  great,  Low-life "Sam"  does not,  but still runs 6 rods.  so now the DNR will stop a random boat with one person on board that appears to have a 6 rod spread out.   I'm not going to be very happy to keep being pulled over to see if I have a stamp or not.

 

make it all or nothing.  charge everyone higher fee and move the rod limit to 6 or leave it alone. 

this shall not become a buy up by choice option, as it will be impossible to enforce.

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Not a fan.  here is why
 
all of us that would by a stamp to run 6 rods  great,  Low-life "Sam"  does not,  but still runs 6 rods.  so now the DNR will stop a random boat with one person on board that appears to have a 6 rod spread out.   I'm not going to be very happy to keep being pulled over to see if I have a stamp or not.
 
make it all or nothing.  charge everyone higher fee and move the rod limit to 6 or leave it alone. 
this shall not become a buy up by choice option, as it will be impossible to enforce.


All Good Points. They could eliminate the rod limits all together and just enforce daily and possession limits.


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You guys give up too easily.  It's a great idea.  Get the add-on license.  The state gives you a sticker to throw on the bow of your boat by the MC number.  No one has to stop your boat to count people and lines.  Valid stickers can be checked at any time like they can be now.  If you are happy fishing solo and want to do it with 3 lines, go for it.  Many times last summer I wished we could throw another 3 lines into the water to try and figure out the fish.  When you spend all the money on fuel and gear, you want to catch fish.  This will help.  This is a simple process, it's easily enforceable without boarding your boat and interrupting your day.  

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As promised, here is the feedback from the Michigan DNR:
 

Quote

 

Thank you for your interest in Michigan natural resources. We are particularly grateful for you bringing a regulation proposal that is being discussed on various online forums to our attention. 

It is important to note that the proposed regulation change to expand license options to include a license option for Great Lakes trolling that would allow for the use of up to 3 additional rods would require an amendment to state law. Specifically, the current state law per sec. 324.48703 of Part 487 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) states “A person shall not use more than 3 single lines or 3 singles rods and lines…” and the DNR or Natural Resource Commission (NRC) doesn’t have the authority to modify state law. I wanted to explicitly address this because in your message regarding the proposal it directly states, “If there was a lot of interest, we might convince the DNR to consider offering it.” This proposed regulation can only be addressed through our state’s legislative process. 

The Department is neutral on expanding the number of rods for trolling anglers in the Great Lakes. We feel that existing fishing regulations, such as daily bag and possession limits, size restrictions, and closed seasons provide necessary protections for fish populations that would address any potential biological concern associated with increased angling effort.  Furthermore, any potential concerns of increased angling effort would be tracked through the Department’s ongoing statewide angler survey program that is conducted annually at ports throughout the Great Lakes. It’s important to note, however, that the Department would likely oppose increasing the number of allowable lines on inland waters because resources for inland creel programs and fishing regulation enforcement are limited and therefore staff would be unable to evaluate the social and biological impacts of increased angling effort in inland waters.

Thanks again for your interest in Michigan’s fisheries. 

Renee K. Parker
Executive Assistant to Chief Jim Dexter
DNR Fisheries Division
Office: 517-284-5836

 

 

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Well that makes sense . Like I said I’m not interested but you guys that are can decide where to go with this.

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Thanks Mega Byte.

This is very interesting. It looks like the DNR would be willing to consider modifying rod limit rules in some way for trolling the Great Lakes (but not for Inland Waters) if they are allowed to by law.

I searched for and am pasting the full text of current statute below; but it seems like to take this forward the next step would be to ask one of our state legislators to introduce a bill to make a small modification to the overall statute. I see it has been modified many times in the past for other reasons, so it could be again.

Here is an example of how it could be amended in a fairly simple way that would give the DNR the ability to set rod limit regulations as they see appropriate, including being able to set rod limits differently for Great Lakes trolling vs Inland fishing.
Example amendment text:
"The department shall have the authority to issue an order that regulates the number of rods and lines used per angler, as well as the number of hooks that may be attached to each line. However, the department shall not reduce the number of rods per angler to less than 2."

As a side note…I was surprised to see that it looks like Sabiki Rigs comply with current law guidelines if they are used in the Great Lakes for taking bait fish (like alewife): “In the Great Lakes or recognized smelt waters, any numbers of hooks, attached to a single line, may be used for the taking of smelt, alewife, or other bait fish.”

Here is the existing statute:
324.48703 Prohibited devices; limits on multiple rods, lines, and hooks; tip-up devices; regulations authorized for spears, bows, nets

Sec. 48703. (1) A person shall not take, catch, or kill or attempt to take, catch, or kill a fish in the waters of this state with a grab hook, snag hook, or gaff hook, by the use of a set or night line or a net or firearm or an explosive substance or combination of substances that have a tendency to kill or stupefy fish, or by any other means or device other than a single line or a single rod and line while held in the hand or under immediate control, and with a hook or hooks attached, baited with a natural or artificial bait while being used for still fishing, ice fishing, casting, or trolling for fish, which is a means of the fish taking the bait or hook in the mouth. A person shall not use more than 3 single lines or 3 single rods and lines, or a single line and a single rod and line, and shall not attach more than 6 hooks on all lines. The department shall have the authority to decrease the number of rods per angler. However, the department shall not reduce the number of rods per angler to less than 2. For the purposes of this part, a hook is a single, double, or treble pointed hook. A hook, single, double, or treble pointed, attached to a manufactured artificial bait shall be counted as 1 hook. The department may designate waters where a treble hook and an artificial bait or lure having more than 1 single pointed hook shall not be used during the periods the department designates. In the Great Lakes or recognized smelt waters, any numbers of hooks, attached to a single line, may be used for the taking of smelt, alewife, or other bait fish.

(2) A person shall not set or use a tip-up or other similar device for the purpose of taking fish through the ice unless the name and address of the person owning the tip-up or other similar device is marked in legible English on the tip-up or other similar device or securely fastened to it by a plate or tag.

(3) The department may issue an order to regulate the taking of fish with a spear, bow and arrow, or crossbow in the waters of this state.

(4) The department may issue an order to regulate the taking of fish with nets in the waters of this state.

Credits
P.A.1994, No. 451, § 48703, added by P.A.1995, No. 57, § 1, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995. Amended by P.A.2008, No. 291, Imd. Eff. Oct. 6, 2008; P.A.2012, No. 245, Imd. Eff. July 2, 2012; P.A.2012, No. 471, Imd. Eff. Dec. 27, 2012.

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I am in favor of the idea as I occasionally fish solo or with one other and would love to run additional rods but what if the fishery changed as it often does and lots of people have already spent lots of money on extra rods and equipment and the dnr decides to go back to a 3 rod limit it would be a hard pill to swallow if your used to fishing 6 rods per. Imagine if they wanted to go back to a 2 rod limit right now! More power to you I'm just thinking out loud.

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I am curious to see how long it takes an idea like this to make it through the state legislature. A change, approval, rejection and ultimate implementation may take years.


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what are they planning to do with the money?  if its s good cause I would buy one but I wouldn't fish with more rods.  I think more than 6 is too many. JMO

 

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