Salted with Sharks

Law Enforcement Arrives at Betsie Bay to Close Fishery at Mouth of River

In On and off the Apron, Open Season, Uncategorized on September 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm

At about 5:15 Monday, the Alert got word from county commissioner Don Tanner that law enforcement officials were headed to the crowded scene at the east end of Betsie Bay to put a stop to both the fish saving and fish snagging taking place there.

Per the DNR’s September 14 press release, the area to be closed to fishing lies between the red lines in the image below.

Tanner said Justin Vanderlinde, Benzie County’s game warden, said the 21-day waiting period for the fishing closure to take effect was under review.

“The biggest problem that Justin has is that people are not listening to them. So they’re sending law enforcement over there to put a stop to all this.” A relative of Don Tanner’s was fishing in a boat Friday and said, “I’m down there at O-dark-thirty and here comes a bunch of guys with nothing but landing nets, no fishing poles at all. They’re taking stringers of fish out of there. That kind of crap needs to stop.”

“The whole issue of having to wait 21 days to issue an order from the director is under review. If nothing else, the benefit from this whole exercise will be that they might walk out of this with the ability to issue an immediate order. In other states, like Alaska, if they see a problem, they shut it down right now. They don’t wait for nothing,” Tanner said.

On the scene at 5:34, Chip Marks handed the phone to “Jack,” a concerned citizen who was admonished by the officer. “I’m a guy with a shovel. Justin’s not here, he’s on another call, so they sent someone down here from Traverse City. He’s ordered us to cease and desist. He said he could cite us but he’s not going to, but don’t be surprised if someone comes knocking on our door.

“I’m saddened by this situation.  A couple of community members come out here and try to do something for the economy, the ecology, and here we’re ordered to shut down because of bureaucracy and red tape, I don’t know. I’m a local business owner, everybody’s calling in and nothing’s happening. I came down here to help keep the fish from beaching themselves so they can get into the river and spawn, and now we’re being ordered to quit.”

Jack said he hadn’t seen any fishermen being cited yet. There were still several people standing in the shallows undertaking what might be described as fishing. “There’s not as many [fisherman] as there was,” Jack said.

Chip Marks said, “If they had five more guys and they were allowed to finish this thing, it would be great. The fish are flying through where they’ve improved the channel.”

Area the DNR is closing to fishing because of the low-water threat to the salmon spawn season.

  1. i agree with jack.let him finish!!!preserve future fishing.

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