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2018-04-11 / Front Page

Conversation and Coffee with DNR Biologist Kovacs

Cory Kovacs Cory Kovacs Opening day of trout season may be just a couple of weeks away, but anglers might have to take their ice augers along, as the latest spring storms to hit the U.P. turned the clock back to winter.

Nevertheless, Fisheries biologist for the DNR office in Newberry, Cory Kovacs, conducted a “Conversations & Coffee” at the Tahquamenon Public Library last Tuesday, April 3.

Only seven fishermen and women made it to the meeting to listen to the latest news about fishing and to voice their opinions.

The subject of Brook Trout came up first. Kovacs related that undersized trout caught with live bait and released experience a higher mortality rate than those fish caught with artificial bait and released.

The DNR has increased the bag limit of Brook Trout to 10 in a pair of streams in Luce County: the North Branch of the Two-Hearted River and the West Branch of the Sage River.

The Black River and Paquin Creek in Mackinac County also have been increased to a 10-fish bag limit.

The Driggs, Fishdam and Middle and South Branch of Stutts Creek in Schoolcraft County have been increased to 10, as well as the North Branch of the Pine River in Chippewa County.

There are restrictions on each of the river systems listed in each of those counties. Anglers need to obtain a 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide to find out the details.

The DNR also is considering changing the Yellow Perch possession limit from 50 perch per day to 25. The seven individuals at the meeting were unopposed to the idea, and even suggested that there should be an additional criteria that no more than five of the 25 perch limit be over 12 inches or greater.

Kovacs touched on various other subjects, including fishing tournaments, fishing with scented materials and stocking.

The new way to register a Bass tournament, implemented by the DNR in 2016, has found an increase in the number of tournaments, especially in southern Michigan, from 2,096 to 2,277, although the number of bodies of water has remained close to the same.

The DNR will continue to have tournament directors register bass tournaments this way. They also want directors of Walleye, Muskellunge and Bow Fishing tournaments to register by way of the new system in 2019.

The anglers at the meeting were, for the most part, indifferent to the use of scented baits that are supposed to attract fish, some of which include salt as part of the scent.

Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Splake, Walleye Atlantic Salmon and Chinook Salmon have all been stocked in 138 locations in various lakes and streams from Marquette and Schoolcraft Counties to Chippewa and Mackinac Counties, including Luce and Alger.

The 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide is also available online at

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