The Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Division announced today that after internal and external reviews, it is recommending the brook trout daily possession limit for the Upper Peninsula remain at its current level of five.
In 2000, the daily possession limit for brook trout in most Michigan streams was reduced from 10 fish to five fish. Since that time anglers have asked the DNR’s Fisheries Division to consider reinstating the 10 fish daily possession limit for brook trout on Upper Peninsula streams.
Fisheries Division staff conducted an internal review on this issue in 2011 and after that solicited broad public input regarding the proposed regulation change via an online and telephone survey. The survey was open from March 26 through May 28, 2012 and received more than 1,400 responses. This was the highest response rate Fisheries Division had ever seen in regards to a regulation issue.
Due to the results of that survey, and based on additional feedback gathered through letters, constituent meetings, and other methods, it has been recommended the daily possession limit for brook trout not be raised to 10 fish at this time for the following reasons:
(1) There are no biological benefits and some slight biological risks with raising the daily possession limit.
(2) Based on the results of the public survey and historic creel data, it appears raising the daily possession limit would benefit a relatively small percentage of the angling population.
(3) Nearly twice as many anglers opposed the possession limit increase compared to those who supported the change. Given that there is no biological need to increase the daily possession limit, it is not prudent to establish a regulation that does not have a significant margin of support from the angling public.
Public input regarding this recommendation can be provided at the Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing on Thursday, Sept. 13. The final decision regarding the brook trout possession limit for the Upper Peninsula will then be announced at the Natural Resources Commission meeting in Ontonagon on Thursday, Oct. 11.
For additional information on how this recommendation was developed, including full data from the public survey, please read the Brook Trout Daily Possession Limit Statewide Opinion Survey Review available at www.michigan.gov/fishing.