“It’s important for the local economies and the local businesses, but beyond that it’s important because it involves the relationship between Indians, between sports fishermen, between communities and between governments,” Bay de Noc Great Lakes Sports Fisherman Attorney Paul Strom said.
The Walleye Restoration Project is in its fourth year. It includes the Hannahville Indian Community, the Bay de Noc Great Lakes Sports Fishermen, Inc., Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Delta County Chamber of Commerce, and the Delta County Economic Development Alliance.
With an eye towards the future and memories of the past, the organizations are committed to making this a long-term project for the health and the economic importance the fishery provides to Delta County. While the fish planted this year will be mature in about three years, the fish planted in 2011 are near maturity and will make a positive impact on the Bays.
The Walleye Restoration group was spearheaded by the Delta County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee and the Hannahville Indian Community. Walleye Restoration aims to put a positive face on the area fishery, which showed a decline from 2004 through 2010. This effort involves creating a coalition to raise money to restore, conserve and manage the fishery. The work includes educating the public to reduce illegal poaching, stream and river runoff, and sedimentation that negatively affect the walleye. The group is hoping to keep anecdotal records of the walleye fishery as one way of informally evaluating the efforts. Any anglers that would like to share their experiences fishing on the Bays de Noc should contact the Delta County Commerce Center at (906) 786-2192 or email reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.