and Fishing News
Kings, Believe it, or Not!
Like I said on Friday, October 10, 2003, I had a legal matter attend to in Manistee. Well, the legal matter was a person suing me, because he showed up late for his charter and I wasn't there. Then he ran up his motel bill to the tune of $177,
charged me around $200 for his baby sitter and a couple of hundred bucks for mileage. The Honorable B. Danielson of the 85th District Court here in Manistee dismissed the case against me, as the plaintiff lost his case to recover his exorbitant expenses.
What bothers me most about this case is that I have lost faith in fair play, because I offered several monetary charter options to the said person, before he pursued his flimsy small claims case based on no sound legal advice. This whole deal could have been a gift from God, because if he sued me over his being late, what
would he have done with a slip and fall on my boat, or a rough ride back to the dock? I've kinda lost a little more faith in humanity as a whole over this entire insubstantial issue, or is that what the world?...........is really coming to!
I deeply debated with myself whether to post this story, or not. I'm left with a empty feeling over trials and tribulations like this, as the saga of a charter operator continues. If chartering was easy, then everyone would do it......eh?
Flicker Line: I
now carry Flea Flicker line that eliminates the build of the fish-hook
water flea. I have both the 20 and 30 pound test in stock
and ready to ship ASAP. I will have some very
important tips about using this new type of line in the next E-mail
Updates Letter, I plan on sending later today, after my
here for cost and info on this new dramatic style of line.
COMMERCIAL FISHING BEGINS UNDER LITTLE RIVER
BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS’ AUTHORITY
Click for full size
Trap Net Diagram
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians announces the start
of commercial fishing under permits issued by the Little River
Band’s Natural Resource Commission. Three (3) permits for
commercial trap net fishing operations by Tribal fishers have
been approved for fishing in treaty waters of Lake Michigan
between Arcadia (at the north end of Manistee County) and
Grand Haven, Michigan. One of the available permits was issued
to a trap net boat that will be operated by two (2) Little
River Band Tribal members who will be fishing out of
Ludington. The remaining two (2) permits were issued to
captains from other 1836 Treaty tribes, whose fishing
operations will be based in Frankfort and Muskegon. None of
the three (3) available permits for small mesh gill fishing
operations targeting bloater chubs was issued during 2001.
The three (3) permits issued are the first
Tribally-licensed commercial fishing operations in these
portions of Lake Michigan treaty waters since 1985 and the
first commercial fishing permits issued for these waters under
the terms of the settlement (Consent Decree) signed by the
State of Michigan and five (5) 1836 Treaty Tribes resolving
disputes regarding treaty-reserved, Tribally-regulated fishing
in the Great Lakes.
Under the terms of the Consent Decree signed in August
2000, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has the
exclusive right to issue permits for commercial fishing by
licensed fishers from each of the five (5)
federally-recognized 1836 Treaty Tribes - the Little River
Band of Ottawa Indians, Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand
Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay
Band of Odawa and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians agreed not to
authorize the use of large mesh gill nets, which are opposed
by sport fishing groups, by Tribally-licensed commercial
fishers in the waters under the permit authority of the Tribe.
Tribal negotiators agreed to restrict commercial fishing to
the use of trap nets and small mesh gill nets, in large part,
as an accommodation to sport fishing interests in these areas.
State law currently authorizes commercial fishing with both
trap nets and small mesh gill nets in Lake Michigan south of
The 2000 Consent Decree allows the Little River Band to
issue a total of three (3) commercial trap net permits for
whitefish and three (3) commercial small mesh gill net permits
for bloater chubs within this portion of Lake Michigan during
the first three (3) years commercial fishing takes place. This
portion of the 1836 Ceded Waters of Lake Michigan is divided
into two sections where permits may be issued. This includes
Whitefish Management Zones (WFM) 07 and 08 (see map). Within
WFM-07 there can be two commercial trap net operations and two
commercial small mesh gill net operations permitted, and
within WFM-08 there can be one commercial trap net operation
and one commercial small mesh gill net operation permitted for
the first three years.
The trap net operations are limited to 12 nets per
operation and the small mesh gill net operations are limited
to 24,000 feet of net per operation under the agreement.
Regulations adopted by the Little River Band’s Natural
Resource Commission for the 2001 fishing season limit permit
holders to 6 trap nets per operation. Tribal trap net fishers
are only allowed to target and retain whitefish (19 inches and
larger) and menominee. Small mesh gill net fishers may only
target and retain bloater chubs. The fishers are required to
release all other species back to the lake. The tribal
commercial trap net fishers are required to observe a spawning
closure from noon November 6 through noon November 29 of each
year to protect the fish stocks. All trap nets must be either
removed from the water or tied closed during the spawning
Harvest guidelines for both whitefish and chubs are
developed by a Technical Fisheries Committee comprised of
Tribal, State and Federal biologists for each Whitefish
Management Unit. Harvest limits are established for WFM-8,
where state-licensed commercial fishing is allowed. The limits
on the number of permits and nets in WFM-07 for the first 3
years of fishing will protect fish stocks until the Technical
Fisheries Committee obtains data from biological assessment
and commercial catch reports to recommend harvest guidelines
for implementation by the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority
(CORA), which regulates Tribal fishing on the Great Lakes.
All Tribal parties in the 2000 Decree will mark all Trap
nets and small mesh gill nets under net-marking regulations
developed by CORA. All trap nets will be marked with a staff
buoy with at least four (4) feet exposed above the surface of
the water with a red or orange flag no less than twelve (12)
inches by twelve (12) inches bearing the license number of the
fisher and affixed to the top of the staff. In addition, the
king anchor and inside end of the lead shall be marked with a
red or orange float not less than one (1) gallon in size (see
diagram). All small mesh gill nets will be marked with a staff
buoy at each end with at least four (4) feet exposed above the
surface of the water with a red or orange flag no less than
twelve (12) inches by twelve (12) inches bearing the license
number of the fisher and affixed to the top of the staff (see
Tribal fishers and Natural Resource Department staff hope
to work with the sport and charter fishing community to
provide sport fishers with information regarding net
locations, net marking, and how to avoid fishing nets so that
commercial and sport fishers can safely co-exist. Tampering
with Tribal fishing nets is a federal offense. Persons with
questions, who want additional information regarding
Tribally-licensed fishing activities, or who observe others
tampering with nets or equipment, are encouraged to contact
the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Natural Resource
Department at 231-723-1594 or the Little River Band Department
of Public Safety at 1-888-692-0220.
from the Ludington
By KEVIN BRACISZESKI
Daily News Staff Writer 10/24/01
— The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is preparing to
launch commercial netting operations in Lake Michigan soon.
Martel, fishery biologist for the Manistee-based tribe, said
the 48-foot fishing boat Judy B is expected to start
trap-netting for whitefish along the shore soon. That fishing
could take place in the waters from Arcadia to Hart. In future
years it could be extended south to Grand Haven.
said the boat coming this fall belongs to Darren Mitchell of
the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He said
Mitchell will work as a consultant to Little River Band
members Matt and Levi Stone, who have received commercial
fishing licenses through the local tribe.
Little River Band, four other federally-recognized tribes and
the U.S. Department of Interior spent two years negotiating an
agreement for tribal fishing in the Great Lakes. The last
15-year agreement was signed in 1985 and expired last year.
the new 20-year fishing agreement, the tribe intends to use
trap nets to catch whitefish and use separate boats with
small-mesh gill nets to catch chubs in deep water.
going to be using (Mitchell’s) boat to start with and once
we get the Little River boats going we’re going to use
them,” Martel said.
Little River boats are four vessels that the tribe will
receive from the state government.
said one of the trap-net fishing boats is a 53-foot boat that
is currently named the PB 4, and the other trap-net boat is a
38-footer named Fin and Feather. He said the gill-netting tugs
are named Shirley K and Falcon.
those names will probably change once the tribe takes
possession,” he added.
PB 4 needs a little work before it can be put into action,
Martel said, and the Fin and Feather also needs minor work
before it will be ready to fish the waters in this area.
However, he said the gill-net tugs “are basically being
said the tribe hopes to get the four boats running in the
local waters next spring. He said the tribe has permits for
two trap-net boats in Whitefish Management Unit 7 — the area
between Arcadia and Hart. Whitefish Management Unit 8 is the
area between Hart and Grand Haven and Martel said the Little
River Band could possibly let other tribes use the permits for
Unit 8 if there aren’t enough interested Little River Band
tribe will control the permits and will lease the fishing
boats to interested tribal members, Martel said. He also said
the Stone brothers are currently the only two members who are
licensed for commercial fishing, and he said they have said
they would like to fish together.
trying to get the word out to the tribal community, but there
hasn’t been a lot of interest,” he said. “We’re hoping
that once we get some boats out, we’ll get more interest.”
nets catch fish alive while gill nets will kill fish. The
small-mesh gill nets for chubs are also too small to catch and
kill large Lake Michigan sport fish such as salmon and lake
be trap fishing for whitefish and Menominee,” said Jim
Ekdahl, of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, who
added that the Little River Band even chose to set its size
limit for whitefish at 19 inches, or two inches larger than
the limit specified in the agreement.
will give the fish a better chance to grow and spawn,” he
also said the trap nets will allow the tribal members to
release trout and salmon that are caught.
expects that the trap nets will be set in about 20-30 feet of
water near shore in the fall and set in about 80-120 feet of
water during the summer. He also said the nets will be well
marked, in keeping with Michigan’s normal regulations for
commercial fishermen, to warn boaters and sports fishermen
about the nets’ locations.
nets stretch for about 600-1,200 feet, he said, and their
heights vary between 20-60 feet.
nets are set along the Lake Michigan bottom in depths of about
240 feet or deeper, Martel said.
department is also currently setting large-mesh gill nets near
Ludington, Arcadia and Point Betsie as part of a state and
federal study of lake trout population in northern Lake
River Band Ogema, or leader, Bob Guenthardt could not be
reached for comment about the tribe’s commercial fishing
plans Tuesday or Wednesday morning.
and Jim Baldwin bought Instalaunch Campground from long time
owners, Gloria and George Kerr. Instalaunch has the best
tackle selection in Manistee. They offer both dockage on
the Big Manistee River and boat rentals. 2001 was Jim
and Debbie's first year as the new proprietors.
From what I could see, the new owners were especially friendly
and were more than "on the job," when it came to
keeping the "reel hot
lures" in stock.
Click here for more info: www.instalaunch.com
Fisherman's Center to Solbergs
of the long "T" dock my boat was on I moved to slip
A-32 in Solberg's Marina. In reality the boat is about
100 feet north from where it was. Reasons for moving
were many, but mainly in April 2001 a strong SE wind to 70 mph
broke 7 dock lines in a 2 day period.
To find my boat enter the Captain Corner Restaurant parking
lot. At the bottom of a small hill and at the end of the
asphalt, you'll see a large boat storage building. Bear
left and go to the north end of the storage building.
Then bear right and in about 100 feet you'll see a double row
of camping trailers. Bear back to the left and up the
camping trailers road. On the right hand side of the
road you'll see a 35 foot, small 2 masted sailboat, named
"Estaca." My boat is located behind a dock box
with Sue Lee Charter Service writing on it
Hook Water Flea
your fishing lines getting all clogged up?
Then read the info below
How could something just one
centimeter in size, cause enormous problems for Lake Michigan?
Easy, when you’re a water flea with no known enemies in the
area. Cercopagis pengoi, (sometimes called the fishhook
flea), has recently invaded the waters of southern Lake
Michigan, and is tiny but prolific. It reproduces rapidly, has
no known predators, and can create havoc by upsetting the
lower levels of the food chain. Patrice Charlebois, biological
resources specialist for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant noted that
although this water flea was found earlier this year in Grand
Traverse Bay, it is now posing a threat closer to home.
It was first spotted in the
open waters of southern Lake Michigan by Burt Atkinson,
captain of a charter boat named "Donna G,"who was
out with a party off Waukegan Harbor. The captain noticed the
masses (which can look and feel like wet cotton batten) on his
lines and knew they were different from the other spiny water
flea, Bythotrephes cederstroemi. Charlebois, checked
zooplankton samples collected in the same area but closer to
shore by her home institution, the Illinois Natural History
Survey’s Lake Michigan Biological Station. She found them to
be not only present in the sample, but fairly abundant.
Charlebois has followed the
invasion of the spiny water flea and worries that this new
species could cause even greater problems for the Lake
Michigan ecosystem. As is the case with its predecessor, this
new invader feeds on tiny aquatic organisms called
zooplankton, which are an important food source particularly
for young fish. So, Cercopagis could compete for the
same food as these fish. Cercopagis also has little
barbs on its tail, which gave it the nickname,
"fishhook." The barbs make it difficult for small
fish to eat them, and without a predator, the fishhook flea
can concentrate on multiplying.
"We’re concerned about
the potential impacts that Cercopagis will have on the
Lake Michigan foodweb. The fact that Cercopagis feeds
on other zooplankton and is not easily consumed by fish could
have detrimental impacts on all levels of the lake foodweb.
The foodweb has already been compromised by other exotics such
as the spiny water flea and the zebra mussel." Charlebois
goes on to say that Cercopagis could also be a serious
threat to yellow perch. Young yellow perch rely on zooplankton
as a food resource. "If Cercopagis strikes another
blow to this already battered resource, yellow perch may feel
the impact again."
So, what can be done to stop
or slow down the spread of this potentially destructive water
flea in Lake Michigan and inland lakes? Boaters and anglers
can help prevent the spread of Cercopagis by observing
many of the same procedures used to prevent the spread of
other exotic species. Taking the time to do simple things like
inspecting the boat and removing plants and animals from
equipment; draining the boat of all lake or river water
(including the baitbucket); dumping bait on land or in the
trash, never in the water; and rinsing the boat with a
high-pressure sprayer or 104 F degree water or allowing the
boat to dry for at least five days before transporting it to
another body of water can greatly slow and even stop the
spread of Cercopagis and other exotic species
Capt. Jerry Ditchfield
friend Jerry Ditchfield was killed in a freak wood cutting
accident in Mid-December. He will be missed by me and
the rest of Manistee for his honest and tell like it is
personality. For those of you who have fished with me,
Jerry would fill in as my First Mate occasionally. He is
survived by two sons and his gracious wife Nancy. He was
in his Mid-Sixties at the time of his passing. He
may be gone but never forgotten. As a word of thought if
everyone lived life like Jerry the world would be a better
place for all of us!
first state record fish has been recorded for this year in the
Master Angler Program administered by
the Department of Natural Resources. Angler Larry E. Curtis of
Reed City, Michigan caught a record-setting brown trout
weighing in at 34.62 pounds and measuring 40 1/2-inches in
size on April 5. Curtis was trolling along the coastline of
Lake Michigan offshore of Manistee County when he reeled in
his record catch. Tom Rozich, Department of Natural Resources
fisheries biologist at Cadillac, identified the fish. The
previous brown trout record was a 34.45 pound brown trout,
also taken from Lake Michigan waters off Manistee County on
April 23, 1998 by Burton Reid of Freesoil, Michigan.
water problems continue!
Michigan water levels are dangerously low. We launched
the lake boat 3/27/00 at the Manistee Public Launch. We
used the furthest west ramp so the trailer axles wouldn't fall
off the edge of the ramp. I've got about 3' of water in
my slip behind Fisherman's Center. Solberg's has started
dredging operations but progress has been exceeding slow.
And most of the docks are unusable in the cut at Solberg's and
most of the boats berthed there last summer have found dockage
at other marinas