Category Archives: Inland Fisheries

Skipper David Marr found guilty of not keeping lookout

The captain of a trawler which swamped a small boat causing it to sink, and three men to drown, has been found guilty of not keeping a proper lookout. Mircea “Mitch” Ilie, 40, Irinel Popovici, 41, and Treaiam Dumitrache, 50, died on an overnight fishing trip on the James 2 in August 2017. Marr,  55, of Peterhead, will be sentenced later. He was found guilty at a Lewes Crown Court trial, which was sitting at Brighton Magistrate’s Court. >click to read<   David Marr did not see men in fishing boat – Their fiberglass boat was designed for inland waters only and did not have adequate lights or Radar reflectors. >click to read< 10:42

Big news for a major Michigan industry: commercial fishing.

Changes to the rulebook in January had fisheries warning the fresh catch may soon come from Canada. The DNR is now walking back those rules, requiring fishermen to cast their nets in water under 80 feet and suspending part of the whitefish season,,, “Everyone’s ecstatic.” A reversal from the DNR, effectively lifting the depth and seasonal restrictions the Williams’ and other commercial fisheries argue had upended their ability to make a living, means it’s now back to business as usual. >click to read< 07:42

Michigan House Bills Ban Commercial Perch Fishing on Great Lakes – Lakon Williams of the Bay Port Fish Co. expressed her concern. The company nets whitefish and perch in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. >click to read<

Working Waterfronts: Development threatens Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River fishing industry

The Great Lakes’ commercial fishery is nothing like what it was a hundred years ago. But from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence River, there are still people who make their living catching and selling fish. However, they face increasing competition from hotels, condos and other developments for loading and docking space along the shoreline. One example,, The Minor family has been a long standing fishing family, they’re now in their third generation. And they recently had the experience of coming back from a day of fishing, and found that the place that they’ve been unloading fish for generations was suddenly unavailable, because there was new construction for a cruise ship dock going in. >click to read< 16:34

“The Perfect Catch” campaign: Asian carp is getting a new name and a public makeover

Illinois officials and their partners want to give the invasive Asian carp threatening the Great Lakes a similar makeover. The goal: To grow the fish’s image as a healthy, delicious, organic, sustainable food source which will in turn, get more fishermen removing more tons of the fish from Illinois rivers just outside of Lake Michigan. Markets such as pet food, bait and fertilizer have expanded the use of invasive Asian carp in recent years. But “it’s been hard to get the human consumption part of this because of the four-letter word: carp,” A full-on media blitz is coming later this year to change that. >click to read< 09:51

Lake Michigan Commercial Fisherman Robert E. Strege has passed away

Robert E. Strege, age 90, passed away on January 1, 2021. He was born on November 8, 1930 to parents Richard and Amelia (nee. Schultz) Strege in Jacksonport, WI. Robert proudly served in the United States Army during the Korean War, and for his honorable service, was awarded the Purple Heart. Following his military service, Robert owned and operated his own commercial fishing company, called Robert Strege Fish Co., for many years. He caught chubs, perch, and whitefish, on his boat, >“The Palmer”<, on Lake Michigan. Robert will be remembered, as a loving, hardworking man that took care of his family and will be dearly missed. >click to read< 14:47

New restrictions on commercial fishing amount to ‘extortion’

In a scathing letter, several Michigan legislators urged the state Department of Natural Resources to renew all commercial fishing licenses and permits from 2020. That’s after the DNR announced new restrictions that close the fishery for part of the year and limit the depth where fishers can catch whitefish to 80 feet. “The whole industry is out of business at that 80 feet,” Dennis VanLandschoot, of VanLandschoot & Sons Fish Market in Munising,,, These changes would not affect tribal fishers, whose fishing rights are guaranteed under federal treaty. >click to read< 14:25

Federal Relief: Great Lakes fisheries finally get a cut of Coronavirus relief funds

After being snubbed in 2020, the folks who make their living by fishing the Great Lakes ­­– both commercially and for sport – have been included in the latest round of federal relief from the economic ravages of COVID-19.,, Neither group was included in the massive Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security  Act that passed in March 2020, even though $300 million was specifically earmarked for U.S. fisheries.,, Getting the Great Lakes included in CRRSA was just the beginning. Now comes the harder work of figuring out how to access the money. Video, >click to read< 16:10

Gloves Come Off In Fight Over Commercial Fishing In Michigan

The few commercial fishing businesses that remain in Michigan are suing the state’s Department of Natural Resources over changes to industry rules.  They say the new provisions will make commercial fishing all but impossible. The lawsuit, filed by the Michigan Fish Producers Association, claims the actions of the state threaten to deprive its members and their employees of their livelihoods. “Here in Leland, you can’t fish,” says Joel Petersen, the last state-licensed fishermen working out of Fishtown. >click to read< 09:35

Family owned working waterfront fishing businesses displaced by waterfront developments on Great Lakes

For three generations, the Minor family, today brothers Carson and Landon and their father Paul, have been up before first light to board their fishing tug and make their way to their fishing grounds on Lake Erie. Most mornings, the Minors leave from Port Colborne, Ont., Each afternoon they return to the port to unload their fresh catch of perch and pickerel.,, Without warning, the unloading zone their family had used for more than 70 years was blocked off. They were forced to move to a new port further away from their fishing grounds, increasing travel time and putting them at greater risk during bad weather.,, The Minors’ story is not new, nor is it isolated. Working waterfront access is being affected by coastal gentrification, also called “coastal grabbing” >click to read< 16:47

Inland Fish Fight: Invasive Asian carp threaten Kansas and Missouri waterways

Common carp, which resemble overgrown goldfish, were imported from Europe, where they were popular sportfish and table fare over 150 years ago. But bighead and silver carp were first brought from Asia about 50 years ago, Chapman said. Being plankton eaters, the carp were imported with the hope they could clean waters of unwanted materials, including sewage lagoons. It didn’t work out that way. “There’s never been a fish brought in for large-scale aquaculture that hasn’t escaped into the wild,” Chapman said. “Somebody wasn’t paying attention.” >click to read< 10:47

‘15 minutes out mama’: The tragic story of Port Dover fisherman Michael Smith who drowned in Lake Erie

Frigid water shushing against the hull, spray peppering windows, as the fish tug bores through Lake Erie, clouds breaking to reveal the pale, fleeting blue of a mercurial March sky. On board, Michael Smith sent his wife a text like he always did to start the day: “Good morning beautiful, I love you.” They headed southwest around Long Point, the 40-kilometre sand spit that stretches nearly halfway across the lake. Smith recorded video: the wheelhouse, engine rumbling, tote boxes awaiting some of the first smelt of the commercial fishing season. He pulled open a steel door through which the trawling net is pulled, to show the water rolling by. He made it a ritual to kiss the net before releasing it to the lake. >click to read< 10:41

Pure Salmon to invest $228 million in Southwest Virginia

Pure Salmon will invest about $228 million in Southwest Virginia, which is one of the largest private capital investments in the area’s history, according to officials in Russell, Buchanan, and Tazewell counties. The construction of “Project Jonah” will be the world’s “largest vertically integrated indoor aquaculture facility.” The facility will raise and process up to 20,000 tons of salmon annually. >click to read< 12:51

Know Your Fisherman: Henriksen Fisheries

The bountiful waters of Lake Michigan surround Door County, making it home to a vibrant fishing community that dates back to the mid-1800s. That community today includes several larger commercial fishing operations, including Henriksen Fisheries. The fishermen, Charlie and Will Henriksen, along with two year-round and several part-time employees. Henriksen, who’s from the Chicago area, got his first taste of Door County fishing some 40 years ago when he was recruited to help ice fish one winter. He arrived in the county at age 20 to assist his father, who had bought an old hotel in Ellison Bay, and, as the story goes, he never left. >click to read< 11:34

Congress gave $300 million to help fisheries. The Great Lakes got zero. Why were they left out?!

The nationwide shutdown was especially ill-timed for fishers in the Great Lakes. “We had reports of commercial fishermen in Michigan who had a catch with absolutely nowhere to sell it,” Luckily, there was a plan in place to help commercial fishers and charter boats. But when it came time to distribute that funding, most of the Great Lakes states were left out altogether. That came as a shock to many fishers. “Right up until the final hour, a lot of the Great Lakes fishery participants thought that they were going to be included,” says Gravelle. Why the Great Lakes were left out? >click to read< 14:53

Asian carp processing facility might be headed to North Peoria

A former government adviser and official, Brian Colgan, leads a company that intends to convert a 4,000-square-foot building at 8606 N. Pioneer Road into an Asian carp processing, packaging and distribution facility. There the fish would be fashioned into bait for domestic crab, crawfish and lobster harvesters on all coasts. “Our company, Colgan Carp Solutions Inc., by creating these markets and working with others in the area who want to do the same, can drive up demand, can reduce the population in the Illinois River and hopefully create some jobs, economic opportunity and show that there’s a market-driven strategy for invasive-species management,” Colgan said. >click to read< 11:33

Commercial fishing sails into final chapter

The final nail in the coffin? According to the news, the traditional mom-and-pop style operations would move out of the Great Lakes for good, and leave the door open only for large, investor-style operations to take over the industry. “What it does, it finally just chokes us out,” said Amber Peterson, operator of The Fish Monger’s Wife, one of the remaining commercial fisheries. “It doesn’t even offer us the dignity of a quick death.” >click to read< stories related to this post, >click here< 10:15

Michigan’s dying commercial fishing industry fears state fishery bills will be final nail in the coffin

The once vibrant commercial fishing industry in Michigan has dwindled down from thousands of businesses to just 13 full-time fisheries. And those that are left are afraid legislation in a state Senate committee could be the end of the industry all together. That their mom-and-pop style operations would move out of the Great Lakes for good, and leave the door open only for large, investor-style corporations to take over the industry. This is all part of an ongoing battle in the Great Lakes between commercial fishing and sport fishing. >click to read< 15:02

Offshore Wind Farms are new danger for Lake Erie through Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal

The proposal to install offshore wind turbines on the Eastern side of Lake Erie was brought to my attention during the annual Woodlawn Beach cleanup last September. Since then I have learned much about how negative this would be for Lake Erie and the people and wildlife that depend on it, the protests around the world against these types of projects and the media paywalls that are stifling our knowledge of them. Global developers have called the Great Lakes the “Saudi Arabia of Wind,” and surprisingly, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups that oppose Peace Bridge reconstruction and shoreline development endorse the turbines. Can you see the dollar signs? Can you trust a global industry with our fresh water? By Mary Henson, >click to read< 14:22

Carpe Carp

Clint Carter’s first catch of the day jumps right into his boat before he’s laid an inch of net. Another four or five silver carp make the leap in the time it takes Carter and his partner, Dave Buchanan, to scout out the best fishing grounds on that morning’s stretch of the Illinois River. The motor of their   steel-sided skiff startles the silvers enough to send them shooting out of the water in unpredictable parabolas. The motor of their steel-sided skiff startles the silvers enough to send them shooting out of the water in unpredictable parabolas. Once the men near a dense shoal of fish, the commotion reaches a fever pitch, like popcorn in a hot pan. Buchanan strategically twists and turns the boat, as Carter lets hundreds of yards of trammel nets off the stern. >click to read, photos< 13:46

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

NOAA – Their mission

Back in the sixties when I was fishing with my dad we would fish about a one hundred miles east of New Bedford for whiting in the spring. We had a ninety foot dragger. And there were Russian vessels there that were three hundred foot  and they were using a small mesh net that caught everything in the water. At the time there was no 200 mile limit. The Russians and other foreign vessels could come into our waters and were restricted to within fifteen miles of our coast. Today  no one knows how much damage they did but our fisherman would eventually pay the price. Finally in 1978, we enacted the 200 mile limit. That was great so we thought, but we created a monster. That being NOAA. >click to read< Thank You, Sam Parisi 08:52

Inland Commercial Fisheries: Commercial fishing falls due to Coronavirus restrictions on restaurants says Bay Port Fish Company

One of Michigan’s traditional industries is facing a changing tide during the COVID-19 crisis. Commercial fishing operations like the Bay Port Fish Co. are seeing a dramatic decrease in wholesale demand, leading them to have to adjust their strategy this season. Lakon Williams of Bay Port Fish Co. said the fall off is due to restrictions on restaurants under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders. Another problem for Bay Port Fishing Co. is that they are set up in a old-school manner. Fish are normally hand filleted at their facility in a close-quarters workspace. 50 photo’s. >click to read< 10:51

Coronavirus devastating commercial fishing industry

Lifelong commercial fisherman Mark Weaver had anticipated a bumper season for his family-run commercial fishery before the COVID-19 pandemic left the industry almost dead in the water. Now, he and the rest of Ontario’s commercial fishing industry are facing a bleak future that could leave them struggling just to survive. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills,” Weaver said. While Lake Erie would normally be dotted with commercial fishing vessels at this time of year, their boats aren’t leaving the docks in Port Stanley, Wheatley and other Southwestern Ontario ports this spring since there’s nowhere to sell their catch. “It’s a total supply chain challenge and crisis that we’re in,” said Jane Graham, executive director of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association. April has been one of the “most productive fishing months of the year,” Graham said. And it looked like this April would have been just as productive, Weaver said. >click to read< 22:01

Asian Carp Fishing Method Being Tested In Kentucky

A commercial fisherman harvested close to 60,000 pounds of Asian carp from one bay in 48 hours as part of a fishing method being tested in Kentucky for the first time. Often referred to as either haul seining or beach seining, the method involves running a net out into the bay and scooping fish to the bank, hauling the net in with a winch and by hand. Wade Robbins, owner of Robbins Fishery, conducted the test in Kentucky Lake’s Pisgah Bay from the afternoon of March 19 to the morning of March 21. “It’s new in Kentucky,” Robbins said. “It’s been used for probably a century. It’s been perfected by the guys out of Browning, Ill., to use for Asian carp.” >click to read< 12:57

With Coronavirus pandemic ravaging our country, temporary relaxation of fishery regulations is urged to help fishing industry

Thanks to our Senators and Congressmen who worked to get specific aid to the fishing industry, that has been hit particularly hard by the closure of restaurants, where 70 per cent of seafood in this country is consumed. Fishermen and wholesalers have had to adapt on the fly and find other ways to market their product to various degrees of success. The closure of so many vital aspects of our domestic economy will have effects that will still be felt a long time after the Virus is tamed.,, I am requesting that NMFS immediately contact the various management councils and commissions to request that special meetings [webinars] of fishery advisory panels be held to discuss the pro’s and cons of this idea, and what fisheries could benefit.,,, By Jim Lovgren. >click to read< 20:48

Missing Port Dover, Ontario fisherman embraced sunrises and the water

Fisherman Michael Smith lived for the mornings he could venture on to the water with the Donna F and watch the sunrise, according to cousin and fellow fisherman, James Misner. “There’s no trees and nothing in our way. It comes right over the water and we get to see a beautiful, perfect sunrise every morning.” “We’d go on there and say ‘good morning, Port Dover! It’s 5:30 a.m. Look at the sun coming up over the water,’ and a ‘we love our town’ type of thing.” On Monday, Smith set out early on the Donna F and did not return. >click to read< 06:46:16

Commercial Fisherman lost in Lake Erie after going overboard

Divers from the OPP are searching Lake Erie for a man who is missing after going overboard from a commercial fishing vessel Monday morning. The incident happened about 13 kilometres west of Long Point around 10:15 a.m. The fisherman is being identified as Michael Smith, of Port Dover, Ontario from the fishing tug Donna F. “He was loved by all and had an amazing number of friends amongst the fishermen and Port Doverites alike,” photo, boatnerd.com >click to read< 19:11

Cormorants damaging fish populations

It is estimated there are about 230,000 double-crested cormorants around the Great Lakes, each eating an estimated 1.3 to 1.6 pounds of fish a day. That equals more than 77 million pounds of fish per year, according to a report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The birds eat minnows, alewives, shad, round gobies, other prey-fish, and they also devour significant numbers of yellow perch, stocked trout, salmon, walleye, pike, and panfish. “Cormorants are uncontrolled and wreaking havoc on our Great Lakes,” said Lakon Williams, who manages the Bay Port Fish Company. “Since the Zebra Mussel invasion, the lakes and the water are cleaner than ever.” >click to read< 15:43

A February fishing adventure

Can you imagine spending 15 hours out on Lake Michigan on a day like today? Me neither. But many commercial fishermen here did just that in the mid-20th century, if they could maneuver through the ice floes. Tucked away in the archives of the Kenosha History Center is a letter written by Kenoshan LeRoy Nohling, dated Feb. 14, 1931. LeRoy, 24, related his experience of that week: “Nathan, my cousin, called up about midnight the night before to suggest that as long as neither of us were working, we might as well take a trip on one of the fishing boats here in the harbor. At six in the morning, we were down at the pier looking ‘em over.,, Off to the fishing grounds! >click to read< 19:32

1937 lake tragedy kills Kenoshans on the Marold II – This is the second part of a two-part series. Sunday’s first installment of this month’s Old Kenosha focused on the commercial fishing trade here in 1931 as told by a young man who joined the crew of the Marold II for a day. >click to read<

Michigan House Bills Ban Commercial Perch Fishing on Great Lakes

Lakon Williams of the Bay Port Fish Co. expressed her concern. The company nets whitefish and perch in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. “I knew that that was going to happen, unfortunately we’ve been trying since the summertime to get through to the House of Representatives that this isn’t what we want and this isn’t what we need, and that this will put us out of business. It’s just kind of fallen on deaf ears,” she said. Video, >click to read< 10:16