Michigan Trout Unlimited is the coordination and representation for 20 local chapters of TU and over 8,000 individuals, devoted to the conservation, protection and restoration of Michigan's coldwater fish and their watersheds. Michigan is blessed with a vast wealth of wonderful and unique trout streams, over 11,000 inland lakes, and the largest sources of cold freshwater in North America - the Great Lakes. Michigan TU does whatever it takes to advocate for the prudent management of these resources, including on-the-ground stream improvements, angler & steward education, research, partnerships and collaboration with other conservation groups and governmental agencies, and policy development. Michigan is the birthplace of Trout Unlimited, and Michigan TU continues that proud heritage with its work today.
Trout Unlimited is a grassroots organization. That means that our success in conserving, protecting and enhancing coldwater fisheries and their watersheds depends upon the active participation of individuals like you. Our members are our organization. They construct stream improvements, conduct monitoring of aquatic resources, hold educational programs, set conservation advocacy agendas, do fundraising, and keep the organization running strong. If you care about our coldwater fisheries and their watersheds and want to give back to them, Trout Unlimited can give you that opportunity. We can use your help.
FENTON – Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), flanked by sports fishermen and conservationists at Red Fox Outfitters in Fenton, today announced that he has introduced new legislation in Congress to ban harmful aquaculture practices in both the Great Lakes and federally designated “Wild and Scenic Rivers,” which includes the Au Sable River. The new bills are part of Congressman Kildee’s continued efforts to protect the Great Lakes and Michigan’s rivers from pollution, disease and invasive species.
Aquaculture is the commercial raising of fish in ponds, rivers or lakes. If not done correctly, it has been shown to increase pollution, destroy sensitive fish habitats, spread disease and introduce non-native species. Sadly, other states have seen polluted waterways that have crippled local economies as a result of bad aquaculture practices. A commercial fish farm facility in Pennsylvania on Big Spring Creek – once a famous trout stream – collapsed the region’s fishing industry in the 1970s.
“Like many Michiganders, I have fond memories spending time up north on the lakes or fishing in the river with my family. For everyone in our state, our water is precious, and that’s why we have to always protect it from harm. Whether it is invasive species like Asian Carp, Canada’s plan to store nuclear waste on the shore of the Great Lakes or commercial fish farming, I will always fight to protect Michigan’s freshwater and the vital jobs that depend on it,” said Congressman Kildee.
Currently, a commercial aquaculture facility near Grayling has a state-issued permit, through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, to expand its fish farming operation by 15 times its current size. The expansion will pollute the “Holy Waters” of the Au Sable River, one of Michigan’s 16 rivers designated a “Wild and Scenic River” by the federal government based on its unique ecosystems and pristine scenery.
Congressman Kildee’s two bills include:
Banning aquaculture has support from a vast majority of Michiganders, as well as lawmakers and conservation groups. According to a recent poll, 68 percent of Michiganders oppose aquaculture in the Great Lakes. Additionally, this issue is not a partisan one; Republicans in the Michigan Legislature have previously introduced legislation to ban aquaculture in the Great Lakes and in Michigan waterways.
Congressman Kildee’s legislation also has support from the Anglers of the Au Sable, Michigan Trout Unlimited, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Salmon and Steelhead Association and For the Love of Water (FLOW).
“Anglers of the Au Sable applauds Congressman Kildee for addressing an overlooked Great Lakes water issue, the introduction of pollutants by fish farms into the Lakes and connecting waterways,” said Tom Baird, president of the organization that focuses on improving fishing on the Au Sable River. “It is vital that fish farms be operated in a way that protects the cleanliness of our rivers and lakes, which are in a delicate balance easily tipped by addition of wastes from aquaculture done improperly. Flow through systems that use rivers as virtually open sewers are of particular concern to those of us who fish for trout, which need clean, cold water to thrive. This legislation would ensure only properly regulated fish farms which don't pollute are allowed on designated rivers.”
“The Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association is one of the largest sport fishing organizations in the Great Lakes Basin. Our mission is to protect, promote and enhance sport fishing in the Great Lakes and connecting water ways. We are proud to support legislation to prohibit aquaculture in the Great Lakes and to prohibit aquaculture operations that contribute to pollution of wild and scenic rivers,” said Dennis Eade, Executive Director of the Michigan Steelhead & Salmon Fishermen’s Association.
“We appreciate Congressman Kildee's leadership on this very important sportsmen's issue. Aquaculture facilities across the globe that are connected to public water bodies have proven to be disastrous for water quality and fish health. Our $4 billion fishery in Michigan drives local economies, creates jobs, and connects millions of Michigan citizens to our long and storied heritage as the premier fishing destination in North America,” said Michigan United Conservation Club.
As Michigan Trout Unlimited members and supporters, we want to update you on an issue in the news that concerns a recent water withdrawal request by Nestle’ at their White Pine Springs well No. 101 in Osceola Township, north of Evart.
Their request asks the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for permission to increase allowed pumping from 150 to 400 gallons-per-minute. On face value this request has alarmed many in the conservation community. Digging deeper into this request, Dr. Bryan Burroughs, Executive Director of Michigan TU, has provided the following summary of this request.
Michigan TU does not support aquaculture in Michigan or the Great Lakes unless it is strictly regulated in a way that ensures no harm to Michigan’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. This means that regulations for aquaculture must ensure that no impacts occur from this activity, and that all risks posed are eliminated. Private operations must not be subsidized by the public by allowing negative impacts or diminishment of our natural resources or the existing uses and benefits provided by our natural resources; nor shall the risks posed by aquaculture operations put our natural resources and their uses in any jeopardy.
You can opt out of receiving "Michigan Trout" as a hard copy. Instead, you'll get an e-mail notification of the newsletter's posting on our website, with a direct link to the newsletter, the day of its posting. You won't have to wait anxiously by your mailbox anymore. The online version will be in color, and you can forward the notification to non-members, too. The rationale for this move? Green. Both environmental and financial. Every paper subscription costs Michigan TU about $4 per member annually in printing and mailing costs. We have about 7400 TU members in the state. Just think about the money we could save, and devote to cold-water conservation. We need your help! If you are so inclined, please follow the link below and Opt-Out of receiving a paper copy of "Michigan Trout."
The Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting the Michigan Youth Trout Camp June 25 - June 29, 2017 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake, in the heart of Northern Michigan trout country. The four-day Camp is designed to educate our 12-16 year old boys and girls, who will become our next generation of conservation leaders, about the importance of protecting our coldwater resources.
For More information visit the Kalamazoo Valley Chapter website @ www.kvctu.org
The Michigan Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School is indeed one of the country's finest. The school runs from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, June 9, 10 & 11, 2017. Beginners are instructed in the basics of fly casting and fly fishing and are introduced to a wide variety of angling interests. Experienced fly fishers will impr6ve their skills, technique and knowledge of the sport. Even experts are sure to learn something new.
For more information visit the Michigan Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School website @ www.tuffs.org.