DNR changes tackle regs to reduce snagging

Hawkins Outfitters applauds the DNR for taking action to reduce snagging. Read below for more information. – http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1222098#.VYxoHOuFldV


In an effort to crack down on illegal fish snagging, the Natural Resources Commission approved new fishing gear regulations this year for certain rivers in the state.

The Department of Natural Resources says snagging has become an increasingly big problem in Michigan.

According to the DNR, “From August 1 through November 15, inclusive, terminal fishing gear is restricted to single-pointed, un-weighted hooks, measuring a half –inch or less from point to shank or treble hooks measuring three-eighths of an inch or less from point to shank only when attached to an artificial lure.”

The DNR defines an artificial lure as a body bait, plug, spinner or spoon, on certain waters.

These restrictions will only apply on the Betsie River, Bear Creek, portions of the Manistee River, and portions of the Big Sable River.

“We’ve outlawed certain techniques that make snagging easier, in favor of techniques that we know the salmon will bite,” said Mark Tonello, a DNR Fisheries Biologist.

Tonello defines snagging as trying to catch a fish by hooking it somewhere other than its mouth, rather than using legal angling techniques that involve trying to get a fish to bite the lure or bait you’re offering.

“In certain places we do see a lot of snagging,” said Tonello.  “To the point where the snaggers out number and overwhelm legal anglers.”

Tonello says that ‘snaggers’ use things like a treble hook with a piece of yarn attached to it, or a chunk of lead with two treble hooks attached in order to snag fish out of the river such as salmon.

Under these new restrictions, the snagging techniques are now illegal.  If someone is caught trying to fish using these techniques, the DNR says they could be issued a ticket.

“Now it will be easy for our officers if they come down to the river and if they see people using those techniques they can react appropriately, where as in the past they would have had to stand there until someone snagged a salmon,” said Tonello.