Category Archives: Inland Fisheries

Historic Great Lakes fishing tug Palmer dismantled at former Azarian Marina

A crew from Vassh Excavating and Grading began work Friday to dismantle the historic Palmer, a 90-year-old commercial fishing boat. The Great Lakes fishing tug was carved out of the ice on the Root River in January after the boat sank at its slip at the Pugh Marina in late December near the State Street Bridge. The crew began work to demolish the 47-foot long, 13-foot-wide Palmer by hauling debris out of the boat. After they complete their work, only the metal shell of the Palmer will remain. Once all the boat’s debris has been removed, the shell will be hauled from the former Azarian Marina site off Water Street. When demolishing the boat, Vassh’s crew began to uncover a treasure trove of historic items, including three steering wheels in nearly perfect condition, eight porthole windows, a lamp from 1896, various old wood carvings and books from the 1920s. They also located the original 1926 lights, a Case motor and Twin Disc transmission. click here to see images, video, and read the story  13:24

Telling it like it is! NOAA has done enough already and has failed in spectacular fashion

One wonders why a Marine Sanctuary is needed to protect shipwrecks.  Sanctuaries are usually established to protect ecosystems.  The typical reason for establishing a Sanctuary off our shores is inapplicable because our native ecosystem has been destroyed. After the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959 NOAA was assigned the responsibility of protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species, essentially making the entire region a sanctuary.  NOAA has failed in spectacular fashion.,, NOAA allowed the Lamprey Eel and Alewife into our native waters shortly after the Seaway opened. These and other foreigners decimated our native fishery.  Smelt survived until the 1980’s but now they too have been displaced by some other invasive species that NOAA failed to protect us from, was it the Quagga Mussel or the Round Gobi? (must read) Click here to read the letter. 10:04

TAC increase brings optimistic times for Lake Erie commercial fishery

The Canada-U.S. committee that manages the fishery likes the recent research data it has seen. As a result, the Lake Erie Committee has increased the amount of yellow perch and walleye commercial fishermen are allowed to catch this year. The total allowable catch for yellow perch has been pegged at 10.4 million pounds. This is a 13 percent increase over 2016. The numbers are even better for walleye, which is commonly served in lakeshore restaurants as pickerel. As a top predator in the lake, walleye are managed as individuals and not by weight. The Lake Erie Committee will allow 5.924 million walleye to be harvested this year. That’s a 20 percent increase over 2016. click here to read the story 09:38

Commercial fishermen catch carp and more in the cold waters at Point Douglas.

It was cold and windy on March 21 when Jim Shiely went down to the beach across from his home in Prescott. Waves washed against the sand. The commercial fishermen were out in their big broad-beamed boats and chest waders, hauling in nets full of rough fish: a writhing mass of suckers, sheepshead, and assorted bottom-feeders. “No paddlefish that I saw,” Jim wrote. “Saw one good sized musky which the MN DNR weighed and measured around 44 inches and one small sturgeon. A lot of quillback, all of which they threw back. Saw a nice number of huge walleyes, which of course are thrown back along with all other game fish.” view the photo gallery, read the rest here 08:38

Bill would prohibit fish farming in US Great Lakes waters

A member of Congress is sponsoring a bill to prohibit fish farming in waters of the Great Lakes within the United States. Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan says poorly operated aquaculture facilities can increase pollution, destroy fish habitat, spread disease and introduce non-native species. Michigan has received proposals for net-like commercial fishing enclosures in the Great Lakes. There are none in U.S. Great Lakes waters at present, although Canada has allowed them. Kildee’s bill also would ban aquaculture on rivers designated as wild and scenic, unless the facilities are shown not to discharge pollutants into the rivers. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently granted a permit to expand a fish farm on the Au Sable River in Grayling. The Au Sable is a wild and scenic river. Link 10:30

Commercial ice fishermen in Rice County Minnesota remove carp by the truckload

February fishing in Faribault is nothing new. Ice fishing houses routinely dot Rice County’s lakes in this frigid month as intrepid outdoorsmen continue their Minnesotan search for the perfect fish. Unusual in this deeply-rooted ice fishing culture is a semi-truck, left idling next to Cannon Lake in the parking lot of Shager Park outside Faribault. On its side, the trailer reads simply, “FISH,” which is all one needs to know about the contents of its load. While Faribault’s anglers are surely prolific with a line and a lure, nobody who takes their pickup on Cannon Lake on a Friday afternoon could fill this semi. Bruce Geyer, a commercial fisherman from Waterville, can. On Friday, Geyer took away an enormous load of carp, sheepshead and ictiobus, which are more commonly known as buffalo. Earlier in the week, Geyer lifted 20,000 pounds of carp, 5,000 pounds of sheepshead and nearly 500 pounds of buffalo. On Friday, he estimated that the day’s load dwarfed that of earlier in the week. Photos, continue reading the story here 10:16

All 12 crew members of sunken longliner rescued

Three helicopters and three lifeboats were launched after a distress signal of the “Gure Uxua” from Cariño (A Coruña), was received on Feb 3, 2017, at 3:26 p.m. upon returning home from fishing grounds off France. An SAR operation startedoff the coast of Luarca extending to Navia. All seven Galician and five Portuguese crew members of the fishing vessel that sank in the afternoon off the northern coast of Spain have been rescued alive by 5.30 p.m. The “Gure Uxua” went down 50 miles off the coast of Navia in Asturias. The crew abandoned ship into a raft. Read the story here 12:53

REWARD!! Michigan DNR Offers Big Reward For Plan To Block Invasive Fish

If the fishing world had a most-wanted list, Asian carp surely top it. There are plenty of despised invasives plaguing U.S. waters, but how many of them have a $1 million dollar bounty on their heads? That’s what the Michigan Department of Natural Resources just dropped on the table. Show the agency a viable plan for stopping those silver and big head carp from reaching the Great Lakes and you could be eligible for a sweet payday. In case you haven’t already heard the tale, Asian carp are prolific breeders that can reach 50-pounds. The filter-feeding invasives consume massive amounts of the tiny plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) that feed native forage species, along with juvenile sport fish such as walleye and yellow perch. Disrupting the food web can wreak havoc on local fisheries. Read the story here with link to DNR 12:21

In photos: Historic Great Lakes fishing tug Palmer is removed from the Root River

The Palmer, a Great Lakes fishing tug, is removed from the Root River Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, after the boat sank in late December near the State Street Bridge. The boat is a wood-hulled commercial fishing boat built by Sturgeon Bay Boat Works in 1926. According to the website Fishing Vessels of the Great Lakes, it was built for Alfred Shellswick of Waukegan, Ill., who fished with it until 1935. Click here to view 22 more photo’s 08:44

Concerns linger over Lake Superior’s historic herring fishery

Minnesota fisheries managers are concerned about the long term health of the lake herring fishery in Lake Superior. Biologists worry not enough young herring are surviving to sustain the fishery, while at the same time demand for the fish has spiked. Minnesota’s 25 or so commercial fishermen who ply the waters off the North Shore have caught a lot fewer cisco in recent years. The herring, or cisco, fishery is always unpredictable, said Steve Dahl, a commercial fisherman who works out of the Knife River marina on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The last few falls have been tough for Dahl, whose nets have yielded fewer herring at a crucial time of year. This year was different, though. “November was really good, one of the better ones I’ve had,” he said. “Towards the end I sort of got overwhelmed, it was just too much.” Read the story here 11:21

Invasive Asian carp less than 50 miles from Lake Michigan

The news is mixed as Great Lake states and the federal government continue to devote money and brainpower to stopping a potential Great Lakes ecological disaster — invasive Asian carp species making their way from the Mississippi River into Lake Michigan. First the good news: The leading edge of the mass of bighead and silver carp hasn’t made much progress lately up the Mississippi and connected rivers toward Lake Michigan. Now the bad news: The younger fish — juveniles — are moving closer, the evidence shows. And they can do more damage. “The bottom line is that the juvenile front is advancing, and made a big jump last year,” said Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the nonprofit Alliance for the Great Lakes. “And we still don’t have a permanent solution in place that’s going to solve this problem.” Read the story here 08:59

Floating factory vessel to process Invasive Asian Carp in Tennessee

Leaping from rivers and lakes like aquatic projectiles and ravaging the food base of native fish, Asian carp are loathed by outdoors enthusiasts and state wildlife officials alike for being not just a nuisance, but a threat to boating and fishing industries worth $2.9 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, in Tennessee. Enter Joe Gillas. He sees the invasive fish as an opportunity. Gillas’ company, Riverine Fisheries International, plans to moor a factory fishing vessel at the Port of Cates Landing, located on the Mississippi River near Tiptonville, Tennessee, about 100 miles north of Memphis. The nearly 350-foot-long boat would process Asian carp caught in the Mississippi and other rivers and lakes into food products to be exported to some 20 countries, including China and Russia. “I think there’s a good business model here,” said Gillas, 53, who was born and raised in Alaska and has fished all over the world. “I think we can do something good and make money at the same time.” Read the story here 08:35

Historical Society donates fishing tug to Knife River

A historical landmark paying homage to the North Shore’s once-thriving commercial fishing industry began its journey Wednesday back to where it was built in 1939. After sitting on the shore of Agate Bay in Two Harbors for 26 years, the fishing tug Crusader II was lifted off its supports, placed on a trailer and hauled off to Knife River in the hopes of restoring it to its former glory. “We are basically giving the Crusader back to the community of Knife River as a Christmas present more or less,” Mel Sando, director of the Lake County Historical Society, said as he watched a crew from Knife River Marina secure the boat to the trailer. Used primarily for catching herring in Lake Superior, the Crusader II was built in Larsmont by Reuben and Helmer Hill and was christened in Knife River by Crown Prince Olav of Norway during his visit to the North Shore, according to the Historical Society. “A group from Knife River approached the Historical Society and asked if they could have the boat back,” Sando said. “We recognize that they are in a much better position to provide good stewardship for the boat.” Read the story here 14:47

Video Report: Ride along with the largest commercial fishing operation in Michigan

lake-huron-fisheryA major player in Michigan’s commercial fishing industry, Serafin Fisery, is located in Pinconning. Dana Serafin runs the business with his father, Jerry. Jerry tells us, he’s been doing this since he was a boy in the 1960s and Dana’s been on his deck since he was nine-years-old. “Now it’s a little bit harder, you gotta pay the bills! When you’re nine, you don’t care,” said Dana. The Serafin family has a license for more than 80 fishing nets. They leave these trap nets in specific locations, 100-120 feet below the surface of Lake Huron. “He is the largest producer in the state of Michigan,” said Tom Goniea, senior fish biologist and commercial fish administrator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Goniea said most of Dana’s sales stay right here in Michigan. Watch the video, read the rest here 10:14

Wisconsin’s Dwindling Commercial Fisheries Contend With A Farmed Future

Kevin Anschutz has been commercial fishing in Lake Michigan for the last 40 of his 50-year life. “We’ve been fishing since way before we were old enough to drive,” he says. Anschutz learned the lifestyle from his father and now fishes with his older brother. The two operate Anschutz Fisheries in Baileys Harbor, Wis. On this spring afternoon the lake sparkles, reflecting sunshine. Anschutz steers his boat away from shore and into the blue water. The color of his eyes, baseball cap, t-shirt and denim all match the lake. He lights a cigarette. Anschutz has witnessed both fish populations and commercial fisheries in the lake decline. He says 40 years ago there were nearly 150 fishermen, but today in Wisconsin he estimates there are 30 left.Historically, a long list of fish were caught and consumed from the Great Lakes including sturgeon, herring and trout. Read the story here 17:53

Lake Erie captain ordered to use GPS after pleading guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act

kimmy-sue-lake-erieA Leamington commercial fishing boat captain with decades of sailing experience in Lake Erie has agreed to have his boat’s movements monitored by GPS during the next two years. Paolo Adragna, 50, pleaded guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act in a Chatham court Monday, as part of a joint submission that he also pay $18,000 in fines and the family company, 149561 Ontario Limited, was assessed another $2,000 in fines for illegal fishing operations in 2015. Charges against the defendant’s elderly parents, who were jointly charged, were withdrawn. Crown attorney Demetrius Kappos said the defendant was the captain of the vessel Kimmy Sue and a director in the family business that holds two commercial food fishing licences to take fish from zones 1 and 2 in Lake Erie. Kappos said ministry staff conducted an inspection of the Kimmy Sue at the Port of Kingsville on Oct. 1, 2015 and found several trays containing undersized gill nets, a breach of a licensing condition. Read the story here 08:01

Commercial Fishing in Yellowstone National Park – Killing one fish to save another

White-breasted gulls are following a slow-moving boat in Yellowstone Lake. The crew on board is up to something fishy. It’s four fishermen letting out an awful lot of net. The net sinks into the lake’s deep depths in a large S-curve created by the swerve of the captain’s turns. The crew manages up to 40 miles of netting. That netting collects 300,000 lake trout every summer.  “We are aggressively netting non-native lake trout in Yellowstone Lake to reduce their predation on our native cutthroat,” says Todd Koel, Yellowstone National Park native fish conservation leader. An angler turned in an unusual catch in 1994. It was a fish that wasn’t supposed to be in Yellowstone Lake — a lake trout. The surprise catch hooked biologists with an unexpected problem. They had an invader in a fishery carefully monitored for the persistence of the park’s coveted native fish, Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Read the story here 13:33

Meijer Partnership with Commercial Fishing Company Exemplifies Commitment to Local

The partnership between Meijer and Great Lakes commercial fishing company, La Nassa Foods, began on a handshake nearly two decades ago and continues to thrive today based on a mutual commitment to provide Meijer customers with the highest quality lake fish. As a result, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer is able to offer customers at each of its 230 stores across the Midwest with nearly 500,000 pounds of Lake Erie walleye, yellow perch and other lake species each year. Today, it’s the longest-running partnership Meijer has with a local fishing company, which harvests from Lake Erie daily and delivers the catch to the Meijer Distribution Facility in southeast Michigan four days a week. The partnership has also led La Nassa to grow from three fishing vessels and 35 employees to 11 vessels and 105 employees over the past 18 years, said Tony Giacalone, president of La Nassa Foods. Read the story here 10:48

Gov. Scott Walker Confident New Lake Superior Fishing Agreement Will Be Reached

ap-384664794516Gov. Scott Walker got a closer look at state and commercial fisheries Monday when his tour of northern Wisconsin made a stop at Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands. During the visit, Walker acknowledged recent discussions to reach a new fishing agreement between the state Department of Natural Resources and local tribes, after a 10-year-old contract expired last year. Fishing in the lake is jointly managed by the state, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Some sport and commercial fishermen are frustrated by state rules that don’t apply to tribes. The chairman of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission has said any suggestion that tribes are depleting the resource is 100 percent false. Read the story here 09:40

Exterminated Alberta commercial fishermen sue province for $15 million over 2014 decision to end industry

alberta fishermenA group of former Alberta commercial fishermen are suing the province for $15 million over its 2014 decision to end the industry and no longer issue commercial fishing licences. Two statements of claim filed July 28 in Edmonton’s Court of Queen’s Bench allege the Alberta minister of environment and sustainable resource development was negligent for cancelling commercial fishing licences without adequate reasons and failing to give adequate warning of the impending cancellations. The statements of claim also allege the ministry failed to “act in a responsible manner,” breached its duty to continue to issue commercial fishing licences to the plaintiffs and failed to implement a program to compensate commercial fishermen for the loss of their licences and their businesses. Read the story here 14:25

The unusual, mysterious American eel

eelI recently watched a man fishing in the Arkansas River at Little Rock who caught an American eel. When he set the hook, the angler was pleased with the reaction. The fish surged away, stripping line against the drag. The man grunted and cranked, smiling all the while. When the 2 1/2-foot fish was finally beached, the man’s demeanor abruptly changed. I doubt he could have been more horror-stricken had he landed a 20-foot anaconda. He dropped his rod, ran to his pickup, extracted a .357 revolver and proceeded to plug the “beast.” When the gun was empty, he smiled again, turned to me and said matter of factly, “I hate @#$+& eels.” For 23 centuries, man speculated on the origin of the eel. Aristotle was convinced that eels rose spontaneously from mud. Roman scholar Pliny the Elder believed young eels came from bits of skin adults rubbed off on rocks. Scandinavians postulated that another fish, the Aalmutter, was the “eel mother,” while Italian fishermen espoused the idea that eels copulated with water snakes. In early America, it was generally assumed that eels arose spontaneously from horse hairs that fell in the water. Read the rest here  10:02

Great Lakes commercial fishermen get hands-on experience in emergency procedures

Photo_2_RCTo assist with this effort Michigan Sea Grant coordinated six Drill Conductor Training courses held throughout the Great Lakes region recently to help Great Lakes commercial fishing vessel captains fulfill U.S. Coast Guard regulations related to instruction, drills and safety orientations, and onboard emergency instruction. Commercial fishers are required to practice monthly emergency drills that cover ten contingencies spelled out in the regulation. Persons conducting these drills must have passed a Drill Conductor Training course. The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) assisted Michigan Sea Grant with these training efforts that were held in Michigan and Wisconsin. Read the rest here 16:54

Wisconsin DNR ponders commercial whitefish regulation changes, Sport fishers concerned

whitefish lake michiganA leading Wisconsin sportfishing advocate is urging anglers to provide input as the Department of Natural Resources considers changes to rules in Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Based on shifts in whitefish abundance, the DNR is mulling changes to its commercial fishing framework for the species. Although the agency has yet to release a proposed rules change, commercial interests have been seeking higher whitefish quotas in southern Green Bay or the ability to use unfilled quotas from other zones in the lower bay. And some commercial fishers would like to be able to sell walleye taken as “bycatch.” Walleye currently are protected from commercial fishing in Wisconsin. Read the rest here 16:39

A Life of Subsistence Fishing on Grand Traverse Bay for Ed and Cindy John

commercial fishing, native american couple, june 2016They’re married, they’re Native American, and they make a living fishing on Grand Traverse Bay. Ed and Cindy John share thoughts about subsistence fishing during a windy day setting nets. “When you look at the lake you see a calm beautiful surface, but when you talk about the fishery, when you go underneath, it’s like a metropolis down there,” says Cindy John, her piercing eyes darting from depth sounder to GPS coordinates to husband Ed, precariously braced against a gunwale. Today, West Grand Traverse Bay is anything but a calm surface. Two days into a ferocious summer blow, the blue-green miles of water between the peninsulas are a jagged fabric of whitecaps that skitter crates of netting across the Linda Sue’s tilting aft deck. Sideways to the wind, the heavy trawler wallows in the wave troughs, its growling diesel outdrive pushing steadily toward the edge of a deep-water bank, where the Johns hope to intercept schools of whitefish and lake trout in their summer pattern. Great story, Read the rest here 18:01

A dream becomes a nightmare

0220013When Dick Garbowski, a commercial fisherman in Green Bay, snagged an expensive net on an unknown obstruction in Lake Michigan in 1967, he probably did not know that he would set events in motion that would culminate in crushed dreams and a demolished schooner with a historical designation. Garbowski called an experienced diver and friend, Frank Hoffman, to help him free his $1,400 fishing net. The two originally kept their problem a secret, because as V.O. Van Heest writes in “Lost and Found,” “Garbowski had kept quiet about the predicament worried that someone might hear about it and try to abscond with the $1,400 net. Hoffman, too, had kept quiet because he knew that news of a new wreck could bring out other divers intent on looting.” was not until the summer of 1968 that the net was finally freed and Frank Hoffman realized he had an almost intact shipwreck to explore. The shipwreck was the Alvin Clark. Read the story here 16:42

U.S. brine shrimp industry could be in peril if Great Salt Lake keeps shrinking

BZ-Brine-Shrimp-02-4If you want to get a sense of what a bizarre, globally interconnected economy we live in, look no further than the tiny brine shrimp living in the Great Salt Lake. Americans chow down around four pounds per person of shrimp and prawns a year. In 2014, we imported 567,551 tons of shrimp to eat. We consume more shrimp than any other seafood, including tuna and salmon. And that might not be possible if not for the non-charismatic, durable brine shrimp living in the Great Salt Lake — and the people fishing for them. Today, brine shrimp harvesting contributes just under $57 million to the state’s economy. But as the Great Salt Lake shrinks, the vitality of the brine shrimping industry is threatened. Read the rest here  16:41

Dairy farms taking a toll on Great Lakes, waterways

On an August weekend in 2009, campers in the Port Huron State Game Area began to realize there was something terribly wrong with the Black River. They were finding dead fish floating on the river’s surface. Eventually, the cause of the fish kill was traced to an excessive application of liquid cow manure at Noll Dairy Farm in Croswell. State officials said the discharge affected more than 20 miles of the river and killed about 218,000 fish. With blue-green algae blooms becoming a part of summer in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, concern is growing that nutrients — including those from cow manure and from large operations with more than 700 milk-producing animals — could be a long-term problem as farmers look for places to put cow waste. Read the rest here 10:29

Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail: Evelyn S. still making history

A new Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail offers opportunity to explore the past, present and future of the lakes through the lens of fish and fishing (See Part 1, series introduction). In this article, we visit South Haven and the Michigan Maritime Museum to explore commercial fishing heritage of west Michigan as told through the historic commercial fishing vessel, Evelyn S. The Evelyn S. was built in 1939 by Sturgeon Bay Boat Works William Selman Fisheries of Manistique, Mich. She fits the typical wooden gill net fish tug design so prevalent on the waters during this period. Read the rest here 09:56

Michigan state officials recommend against Great Lakes fish farms

Three state agencies released a report recommending Michigan not pursue commercial fish farming operations in the Great Lakes because of several environmental and economic risks. The state departments of agriculture and rural development, environmental quality and natural resources released a report Wednesday on the controversial topic and proposals regarding net-pen aquaculture — a practice that involves raising fish in underwater nets, or solid structure cages serving as pens, also known as fish farming — in northern Lakes Huron and Michigan. The agencies concluded the report by urging the state not to pursue commercial net-pen aquaculture in the Great Lakes at this time. Read the rest here 11:31

Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail: Katherine V a lone survivor and fishing legend

A Great Lakes gill net fish tug, the Katherine V was built in 1928 on the shores of northern Lake Huron in Rogers City by Native American builder Henry Vincent, and was fished by the Vogelheim family, who owned and operated the Katherine V from her launch until retirement in 1970. At 57 feet in length, entirely enclosed, and powered by a Kahlenberg 3-cylinder engine the tug is an example of late 19th and early 20th century Great Lakes commercial fishing vessels. Constructed of white oak, northern white cedar and cypress, the boat was eventually sheathed in steel and aluminum early in its fishing career to aide in fishing through the winter. Read the rest here 19:27

A fishy business: Dramm Corp. turns fish scraps into organic fertilizer

Dramm Corp.’s Algoma plant is turning recycled fish scraps into a $2.2 million fertilizer business. The business got its start in the 1990s when Algoma resident Chuck Bowman began gathering dead alewives from the beach and fish offal left by fishermen at the Algoma Marina, turning them into fertilizer in a garage. “The demand for organic fertilizer is increasing,” says Hans Dramm, chief financial officer.  “There are lots of exciting opportunities. Our fertilizer does the right thing by preventing fish remains from filling up a landfill or being washed down a sewer system.” Read the rest here 08:24

EPA approves “vertebrate pheromone biopesticide” to battle dreaded Great Lakes Sea Lamprey

After decades of development and testing, an effort to use pheromones to fool the sex drive of lampreys in the Great Lakes has been deemed “good enough” to be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA last week registered the pheromone, 3kPZS, as the first “vertebrate pheromone biopesticide” authorized for use in U.S. waters. While it’s worked in test efforts, it’s now hoped that the pheromone, when poured into rivers, will attract adult lampreys on a large scale to a specific spot where they can be captured and destroyed before,,, Read the article here 08:00

The first year of a three-year experiment allowing commercial fishing for whitefish in southern Lake Huron is wrapping up.

Tom Goniea, the administrator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ commercial fishing program, said 635825137851689110-whitefishof Pinconning had collapsed his trap nets before pulling them. “He’s done for the season now,” Goniea said. “I was out on his boat (Oct. 26) when he did his last set of the year.” Goniea said the experiment likely will continue in 2016. “I see no reason why it wouldn’t at this point,” he said. “He was relatively successful this year considering the fact he missed the first two months of the season. Read the rest here 09:43

DNR busts illegal snapping turtle meat ring in Frazee

snapper_2_Slaughtering a hog seems like a bargain at Ketter’s Meats in Frazee, almost 200 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. The old school butcher shop charges $20 per pig. Cutting and wrapping the other white meat costs 40 cents more per pound. Ketter’s also deals in wild flesh like snapping turtle. A five-pound package of semi-boneless meat from the shelled creature can be had online for $90.  It was trying to make that kind of bank that got Ketter’s in trouble. Read the rest here 11:08

Study: Less than 3 percent of eels survive Ontario dams

The study, published by the American Fisheries Society in one of their symposium series, Managing the Impact of Human Activities on Fish Habitat: the Governance, Practices and Science in June 2015, looked at eels in the upper St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River and Lake Ontario watersheds in eastern Ontario. It examined the cumulative effects of hydroelectric dams on the eels and projected that only 2.8 out of every 100 eels would survive passing through them as they traveled through the Mississippi and Ottawa Rivers to the Upper St. Lawrence River. Read the rest here 10:56

“Concentrated fish poo is just not Pure Michigan,” Sen. Jones works to ban fish farming in the Great Lakes

“In Michigan, legislators have a Constitutional duty to protect our Great Lakes,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “By allowing commercial fish farming we can say goodbye to our Pure Michigan status and hello to an undrinkable Toledo water supply.” Jones said commercial fish farms in the Great Lakes are all risk and no reward. These are proven sources of pollution, invasive species, disease, and fugitive fish escaping to wreak havoc on our Great Lakes fisheries. Read the rest here 07:06

Commercial fisherman pulls a grass carp from his net in Lake Erie

On Thursday, September 17, 2015 a commercial fisherman had an interesting find when he pulled a grass carp from his net in Lake Erie .The Grass carp is a species of the Asian carp, which feeds on aquatic vegetation. The fish was caught west of Point Pelee Thursday morning and weighed in at about 23 pounds (10.5 kilograms), though they have been known to grow upwards of 99 pounds (45 kilograms). The carp was sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Burlington for testing. This specific testing will include whether the fish was fertile or sterile,,, Read the rest here 12:22

Battle brewing over fish farming in Great Lakes

Supporters of the idea say Michigan is perfectly positioned to be a world leader in freshwater aquaculture and home to all the science, engineering and manufacturing that would accompany this growing part of the world’s food economy. But critics counter the Great Lakes are no place for so-called net-pen fish farming because of the higher risk of disease and water pollution that accompanies this method. Read the rest here 13:40

SECURE THE BOARDER! Asian carp discovery in Toronto prompts swift response

Canadian officials have moved quickly after an invasive species of fish was spotted in ponds in Toronto. It’s one of the largest responses ever against Asian carp. “We’re seeing an invasion happening in the U.S., so we can see the devastation that these species are having. We’re seeing native species pushed out for food and space, we’re seeing loss of habitat in wetlands areas and we’re seeing declines in commercial fishery values,” said Becky Cudmore, manager of the Asian Carp program. “Those are the type of impacts that these Asian carp species are,,, Read the rest here 14:03

In The Upper Midwest, Summertime Means Fish Boils

Long ago, when settling the Great Lakes, Scandinavian immigrants brought with them an ingenious method of feeding lots of people, on the cheap. Mark Weborg, whose family immigrated to the area in the 1800s, says his family has been doing fish boils for generations. “I’m the fourth generation, my son-in-law is the fifth generation, here, at commercial fishing in Door County,” Weborg says. “My great-great-great-grandfather brought [the fish boil] over here from Norway. And we used to have it around the sheds just for the crew.” Read the rest here 20:02

Chatham-Kent’s amazing fishing economy sometimes overlooked

carol anne IIThere are currently 16 fish processors located in various regions throughout Ontario. Here in Chatham-Kent, we have three of them, so we are well represented. The economic impacts of Lake Erie’s commercial fishing sector are significant. For the fishing sector on Lake Erie, they account for over 700 direct and indirect jobs with a GDP of over $28 million. The Lake Erie fish processing sector accounts for close to 800 direct and indirect jobs, with a GDP of over $77 million. Read the rest here 19:49

What European demand for caviar means for a Great Lakes fish

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, and it has something the other Great Lakes don’t — stable populations of mostly native fish species. But scientists say a key fish in Superior’s food web is now in trouble because of mild winters and an appetite for caviar in Europe. There wasn’t much demand for lake herring until a few years ago. Craig Hoopman says it used to be fed to mink and used as fertilizer. He says around 2007, Scandinavians started buying lake herring eggs, or roe, for caviar. Listen, Read the rest here 12:11

Inland Fisheries: Lake Huron Commercial fishery moves to Harbor Beach coastal waters

We believe that there is a substantial and exploitable population of lake whitefish out there,” said DNR fisheries biologist Jim Baker. “The Canadians have been taking lake whitefish out there all these many years on their side of the lake and we suspect that we have been serving as a reservoir to supply their commercial fishery.”To judge its potential, the DNR partnered with state-licensed commercial fisherman Dana Serafin out of Pinconning to explore new fishing grounds for lake whitefish in the area. Read the rest here 12:47

Michigan Considers Controversial Commercial Net-Pen Aquaculture in Huron and Michigan

Several State agencies are looking at proposals to allow commercial net-pen aquaculture on the Great Lakes. The practice is controversial because of environmental concerns. WDET’s Amy Miller spoke with Tammy Newcomb; Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of Natural Resources. She says Ontario has allowed a few net-pens near Georgian Bay and now there are two Michigan proposals. This week the State is holding two public hearings on the two Great Lakes net-pen aquaculture proposals. Listen to the report here 08:29

Commercial fishing trial worries Lake Huron anglers

When the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced a three-year trial to allow a commercial fishery to pursue whitefish in southern Lake Huron, recreational anglers took to social media to express their outrage. The state also is hoping that by allowing the commercial fisherman, Dana Serafin, to move his operation to southern Lake Huron, some of the fishing pressure in Saginaw Bay will be relieved. the state also announced a panel to look at the possible effects of proposals to raise fish in net pens in the Great Lakes. Read the rest here 20:30

Michigan Department of Natural Resources considers commercial fishing in Lake Huron

Michigan is exploring the possibility of commercial fishing for whitefish in southern Lake Huron. The state Department of Natural Resources says it issued a research permit to a commercial fisher to explore populations. Starting this month, large mesh trap nets will be allowed in experimental fishing grounds several miles south of Harbor Beach and north of Port Sanilac. The Michigan waters of southern Lake Huron haven’t been commercially fished in five decades, but commercial fishing is established in Canadian waters. Read the rest here 10:50

Port Clinton Fish company owner invests $170,000 into business

The business, located by the Madison Street dock, has new windows, steel siding and signage. A new roof was installed about a year earlier. Rich said he believes the site has housed a fishing company since the 1920s. “It was the largest freshwater fish company in the world,” said Rich, a Castalia resident. “Railroad cars came right out here where we park and would take the fish to Chicago and New York.” The Stinson family has owned the Port Clinton Fish Co. since Rich’s dad, Lee, purchased it in 1974. Read the rest here 13:31

Great Lakes Commercial fish netters getting more for less

It’s no secret that I do not like commercial fishing. I don’t like it in the oceans where the greed of commercial netters and long-liners have a long record of collapsing stocks of fish with little regard to sustainability. The oceans are huge compared to the Great Lakes. Commercial fishing in the Great Lakes has an even worse record. Commercial fishermen mined the native lake trout in all the Great Lakes except Superior to the point the invasive lampreys could finish the job of extirpating them. Read the rest here 16:30

Michigan commercial fishing harvest’s value rises in 2014

The commercial fishing industry’s total catch last year in Michigan was down slightly, but its cash value was up. Officials say the total harvest was 200,000 pounds below that of 2013. But the gross dockside value rose $300,000, or more than 5 percent. That’s largely because of a jump in the wholesale price of whitefish. The popular species’ value has risen more than 50 percent in the past two years. Read the rest here 08:27

Jake’s Story: The Art on Ellefson Dock

The art of hand repairing fishing nets is something every commercial fishing family used to know, when the fishing industry dominated small Washington Island, north of Door County. Today, one man is keeping that tradition alive. As Jake Ellefson looks at himself through an artists eyes he says, “man, I didn’t think I looked quite that bad!” The 88-year old is looking at paintings that capture Jake’s upholding of tradition; hand repairing fishing nets. Read the rest here 10:13

To tame the invasive Asian Carp, local chef pitches processing plant

Plopping a 25-pound Asian carp in all its glorious ugliness onto a table in the middle of a conference room is a sure-fire way to get an audience’s attention. For Chef Philippe Parola it is the start of a familiar pitch: find a way to facilitate the consumption of the invasive species before it wrecks freshwater ecosystems in Louisiana, much as it already has in the upper Mississippi River valley. Read the rest here 07:55

Smeltdown: Small fish continues Great Lakes vanishing act

Like so many fish people associate with the Great Lakes, the rainbow smelt is an invasive species. The approximately 6-inch fish is native to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but moves into freshwater to spawn. It was first stocked in Crystal Lake in Benzie County in 1912, after several unsuccessful attempts to stock smelt in the St. Mary’s River to support another transplanted fish, Atlantic salmon. Smelt were found in Lake Michigan in 1923 and then spread throughout the Great Lakes. The commercial harvest of smelt on the Great Lakes reached 4.8 million pounds by 1941. Read the rest here 10:03

Meet One of Canada’s Last Great Lakes Fishermen

Fish purveyors Kendall Dewey and his wife Joanne do everything: fish, gut, filet, weigh, and package the fish that nearby restaurants like the Drake Devonshire can’t get enough of. But at 62 and 55, they want to slow down and no one is interested in taking the reigns of their business in a county that prides itself on farm-to-table cooking.  Trying to find someone young that’s interested in commercial fishing is very, very difficult. (because its real work!) Read the rest here 15:45

Huge ice cap on Lake Erie puts arrival of spring on hold

The large ice cap still encrusting most of Lake Erie would cover all of Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. It’s two feet thick in many places, and melting oh-so-slowly. Last year, it wasn’t completely gone until May. The lake ice is the biggest, whitest sign that spring’s arrival is again delayed. And the temperature is not going to warm up any time soon. This will be the longest it has taken to reach 60 degrees since 1980. Read the rest here 15:24

Michigan officials weigh idea of Great Lakes fish farming

The state Department of Environmental Quality has heard from two operators interested in raising rainbow trout in netted enclosures, spokesman Brad Wurfel told The Associated Press. “We’re going to put the absolute best minds available around the table and give it due consideration,” he said. “But we haven’t forgotten that job one is protecting Michigan’s waters. We’ve been trying to be very clear that the bar here would be incredibly high.” Read the rest here 15:04

Ice sinks early start for Lake Erie commercial fishery

iced1Easter is coming early. The ice stayed late. That’s a bad combination for Lake Erie commercial fishermen who wanted to be out catching fish for Lent earlier this month. Fishing boats are stuck in ice in the shallow Kingsville harbour but in Wheatley two fishing boats spent three hours Wednesday breaking up ice in the harbour to reach the lake. Read the rest here 19:30

Extreme winter puts $100M Great Lakes fishing industry behind schedule

The commercial fishing season is weeks behind schedule because boats remain lodged in ice formed over the course of the second consecutive extremely cold winter on the Great Lakes. Greater ice coverage last year delayed the 2014 commercial fishing season by nearly six weeks. Once fishing started, it was so good that 2014 went down as one of the strongest years in recent memory. Read the rest here 09:17

Emerging Fishery: Asian Carp nuisance seen as growth industry

“The best way to control anything is to eat it up,” said Luu at her company in Ledbetter, on the outskirts of Paducah. “This is the second most consumed species of fish in the world. As a result, we can save our other species of fish.” Her company markets the carp as “Kentucky Blue Snapper,”,. She hopes to create 60 jobs paying about $10 an hour after receiving state approval last month to receive up to $1 million in state tax incentives. Another $4 million in similar state aid has been approved for two other nearby carp processors since 2013. Read the rest here 11:25

Asian carp chili or carp burgers, anyone?

Although Asian carp filets are too bony for most U.S. consumers, boneless minced carp can be used as healthy stand-in for ground beef in some recipes. A recent University of Missouri blind taste test found that Asian carp rated higher than catfish. Asian carp chili, anyone?  It may not sound appealing at first, but Dr. Mark Morgan at the University of Missouri has received rave reviews for his unique chili on several occasions.  Read the rest here 17:17

Video: Frozen Lake Erie – Record temps keep commercial fishermen off lake

 The winter months are normally slow times for those at Euclid Fish Company when it comes to expecting fresh water fish, such as yellow perch, to fill their freezers. This winter’s haul has hit a wall of ice. All winter Euclid Fish Company’s suppliers from Canada truck in boxes of frozen stock caught by commercial fishermen meeting quotas on Lake Erie. Often they can fish somewhere on the lake that hasn’t iced up, still meeting commercial demands. That isn’t the case this year and in 2013. Read the rest here 21:45