02-15-21 Letter to MIDNR Fisheries – Lake Huron Management Unit

MIDNR Fisheries Division
Northern Lake Huron Management Unit
1732 M-32 West
Gaylord, MI 49735

Dear Dave, Tim and Neal,

I hope the three of you had a great weekend and are doing well. As we are sure you and your team are already aware, there was a high water event on October 22 and October 23 of 2020 where 3” to 5” of rain fell in a 12-hour period causing several streams in the Northern Lake Huron Management Unit to crest above bank level. Concern has been raised during recent Headwaters TU Board of Directors meetings of the impact this event may have had on coldwater streams in the HTU area, particularly on young of the year and year 1 fish.

As your team is also well aware, the 2018 “scare” on the North Branch highlighted opportunities to improve stream monitoring efforts for other area streams so that we have some data to make informed hypotheses when fish trends go up or down. This recent highwater event has reminded us that we need to circle back to reevaluate the data we’re collecting on an annual basis and come up with a more comprehensive plan for specific streams in our Chapter’s coverage area.

At a micro level and specific to the recent highwater event last Fall, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to investigate if this did any major harm on our own. We would like to offer any assistance you may need, be it through volunteer work or by providing needed equipment, to help monitor the situation and possibly correct any adverse effects. If you or your staff feel these streams would benefit from increased monitoring beyond the normal annual programs already scheduled for those streams, HTU would be interested in discussing options with your team to find ways of accomplishing those tasks.

Zooming out at a higher level, we’d like to move towards a more strategic, big picture way of planning conservation and data collection projects for our area’s trout streams. This plan can achieve the best results and add the highest amount of value for our trout streams if we do it in partnership with your team at the MIDNR Fisheries Division. There are activities and skills your team has the best resources to take care of, and there are things that make more sense for our team to take care of. We’d like to work with you to better define how we can help you so we can develop a comprehensive strategic plan that maximizes all of our skills, so together, we are paddling in the same direction.

As always, and perhaps not stated often enough, Headwaters TU appreciates and thanks you and your department for all you do for the coldwater fisheries of northern Michigan. We have enjoyed working with your team in the past and look forward to continuing that relationship well into the future.

Kind regards,

Alex Cerveniak
President
Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Jim Kurbel
Conservation Committee Chairman
Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Distributed to:
Dave Borgeson, Fisheries Unit Supervisor
Tim Cwalinski, Fisheries Biologist
Neal Godby, Fisheries Biologist

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