Bill seeking relief for commercial fishing advances

A senate committee passed a bill on Wednesday and it now goes to the full senate for a vote.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - On Wednesday, there was more relief for the 13 remaining commercial fishers in Michigan.

Fisheries say whitefish are typically found deeper than 120 feet below the water and that they usually could fish down to 150 feet.

Last year, the DNR threatened to only allow whitefish fishing in water as deep as 80 feet. In February, the DNR reversed its decision without an explanation.

Now the department says it does not support or disapprove of legislation from Senator Ed McBroom that would keep the fishing depth at 150 feet moving forward.

“These practices are what we have been doing through other means,” said Jim Dexter, Michigan DNR Fisheries Chief. “As the senator explained, this just codifies the statute.”

A senate committee passed the bill on Wednesday and it now goes to the full senate for a vote.

“This offering today is to simply make sure they can’t pull the rug out from underneath the parties until they reach an actual agreement,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-38th State Senate District.

Now the focus turns toward creating a long-term solution that would change the authority the DNR has to make its own rules without the approval of lawmakers.

“I wish they could come further on some of the other issues, but this is where it is going to be for now,” said McBroom.

McBroom says the fishing industry supports the current bill and hopes the two sides can work together for a long-term solution.

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