A proposed Great Lakes Consent Decree, agreed to by the State of Michigan and its Department of Natural Resources, four sovereign Tribes and the United States of America, would allow millions of new feet of gillnet effort in popular recreational fishing areas.
The Coalition to Protect Michigan Resources (CPMR) is fighting to keep gillnets from expanding in our Great Lakes waters! CPMR is a 501c3 conservation nonprofit whose mission is to protect the recreational fishery and Great Lakes habitat.
Please join us in this fight! Your support will keep us at the table and in the courts fighting for the protection of sportfishing in the Great Lakes and the sustainability of the fisheries.
Gillnets are indiscriminate, lethal methods of fishing that trap the fish’s gills as it swims into the net. This method of fishing has been banned for state-licensed commercial fisheries for decades after Michigan determined gillnets were a driving force behind the depletion of whitefish stocks in the mid-1900s.
East and West Grand Traverse Bay are slated to have enough gillnet effort allowed in them daily to stretch across each bay. Both of these bays have not seen gill nets in more than four decades!
Other waters that gillnets will be allowed in include grids in Little Traverse Bay, waters near port cities like Ludington, Manistee and Pentwater, Hammond Bay and the only lake trout refuge in Lake Huron, and vast areas of Lake Superior, and big Bay De Noc. Learn more here about how the new consent decree jeopardizes sustainability of the Great Lakes fishery resources and the fishers that depend on them.
In 2000, all parties of the decree agreed that lethal, non-selective gillnets were inhibiting the rehabilitation of lake trout and that biology showed more selective trap nets would help the species recover.
The 2000 Trap Net Conversion Program spent $14 M of taxpayer money to buy out state-licensed commercial trap net operations and their equipment and provide it, along with funding, to the Tribes to replace gill nets with trap net operations. This investment resulted in a substantial decrease in Tribal gillnet fishing and the recovery of lake trout stocks in Lake Superior, extensive wild reproduction in northern Lake Huron and encouraging indications of wild production in southern Lake Michigan.
The negotiations have been dragging on since 2019 with hopes for a better end product, but now that the Proposed Great Lakes Consent Decree has been released, we need your help more than ever to ensure we protect the Great Lakes from the expansion of gill nets.
CPMR is comprised of board of four voting member organizations, including Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Michigan Charter Boat Association, the Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association and Hammond Bay Area Anglers Association. There are also numerous organizations and individuals who support the coalition financially.
We ask all anglers, Great Lakes enthusiasts and concerned citizens to join us in this fight. Your financial support in this campaign is critical now to fund the legal battle to protect our Great Lakes resources.
- Douglas Deming
- Donna Cochrane
- Michigan United Conservation Clubs
- Charles Wilmot
- Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen's Association
Coalition to Protect Michigan Resources
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